International Commercial Arbitration

Course Information

Course Number
Curriculum Level
Areas of Study
Civil Procedure and Dispute Resolution, Commercial Law and Transactions, International and Comparative Law

Section 001 Information


Professor George Bermann George A. Bermann Walter Gellhorn Professor of Law and Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Law

Section Description

This course entails a thorough examination of international commercial arbitration, that is, international arbitration based on commercial contract.

It begins with a brief look at the rationales behind the current appeal of arbitration as a mode of international dispute resolution. It then moves quickly to the issues associated with every phase in the life cycle of an international arbitral proceeding: the arbitration agreement (e.g. its scope and validity); means of enforcement of the arbitration agreement; the importance of the arbitral situs (e.g., providing the applicable legal framework of the arbitration); allocation of authority between courts and tribunals as to the enforceability of the agreement and the tribunal's jurisdiction; composition of the tribunal (e.g. ethical issues, conflicts of interest); choice of governing law; all aspects of the arbitral procedure itself (e.g., interim relief, evidence, issue and claim preclusion); judicial involvement during the course of the proceedings (e.g. interim relief and production of documents); challenges to the resulting award in annulment actions; and recognition and enforcement of the award (chiefly in terms of the New York Convention and the special circumstances raised by the presence of sovereign States and state instrumentalities).

Readings will consist chiefly of court decisions and relevant international instruments (including international conventions and soft law), as well as selected academic literature.

Attention is finally given to the contemporary challenges facing arbitration as means of resolution of international commercial disputes which, though not as heated as those facing international investment arbitration, are nevertheless serious.

School Year & Semester
Fall 2023
WJWH 309
Class meets on
  • Tuesday
  • Thursday
1:20 pm - 2:40 pm
Method of Evaluation
J.D Writing Credit?
Minor (upon consultation)
Major (only upon consultation)

Learning Outcomes

  • At the end of the course, students will have acquired understanding of and/or facility in a specific body of law, including major policy concerns
  • At the end of the course, students will have acquired understanding of and/or facility in doctrinal analysis, including close reading of cases and precedents, and application to facts

Course Limitations

Instructor Pre-requisites
Instructor Co-Requisites
Recommended Courses
Other Limitations