Course - Law


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A majority of cross-border contracts today provide for the adjudication of contract disputes by private, international arbitrators rather than governmental courts. This introductory seminar will examine the transnational consensus that has emerged with regard to international commercial arbitration, including the remarkable network of treaties and coordinated national laws that permit such arbitration and mandate domestic courts around the world to enforce international arbitral awards as if they were the judgments of such courts. Subjects to be addressed will include (i) the consensual basis of arbitration and the limits of arbitral jurisdiction, (ii) relevant norms that control arbitration, (iii) how to draft an effective arbitration clause, (iv) key elements of arbitral process and procedure, and (v) the effects/limits of international arbitral awards. The seminar will also feature a mock international commercial arbitration with student teams briefing and arguing a case.


Varady et al, International Commercial Arbitration : A Transnational Perspective, West American Casebook Series (4th ed. 2009) + Documents Supplement (2009). The books may be available on line at a discount, particularly used copies.  Be sure to purchase the 2009 editions (4th) of each.

Course Format

Lecture, discussion, role play

Written Assignments

Two short papers (one of which may be a draft section of an arbitration brief) plus final paper

Type of Exam


Basis for grading

Papers, class participation

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