International Commercial Arbitration

In a world of increasing global trade and commerce, arbitration has become the preferred mechanism for resolving transnational commercial disputes. As global transactions have expanded, they also have become more complex. Scholars, arbitrators and courts around the globe have developed highly sophisticated solutions to respond to these challenges, making international commercial arbitration one of the most fascinating developments in the law. The course will study international commercial arbitration within its international and national legal frameworks. 

Starting with the study of international instruments such as the New York Convention, the course will then examine how different national legal systems have treated international commercial arbitration. The course aims to focus on a comparison of the approaches taken by US courts and the national courts of Europe. International commercial arbitration often exposes marked differences between the common and the civil law, yet the body of law being created in common and civil law jurisdictions forms an arbitral ‘ius commune’ – a common body of a globally applicable international arbitration law. In order to explore the real or perceived advantages of international commercial arbitration over transnational litigation, the course intends to examine the problems commonly associated with transnational litigation such as service of process, jurisdiction, lis pendens and recognition of judgments. Moreover, the course aspires to introduce the theoretical foundations of international commercial arbitration and to discuss the repercussions international commercial arbitration may have for national legal orders. The course will cover every stage in an arbitral proceeding from the arbitration agreement, the arbitral proceeding to the arbitral award and its recognition and enforcement.

Learning outcomes: an understanding of the way international commercial arbitration applies across both common and civil law jurisdictions and knowledge of the theoretical foundations of this body of law and its potential advantages over transnational litigation. This option will not be available in 2024-25