Module SXL-4406:
Intn'l. Commercial Arbitration

Module Facts

Run by School of Law

15 Credits or 7.5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Mrs Anahita Irvanchi

Overall aims and purpose

  1. To provide an overview of the law and procedure of international commercial arbitration, and of its role as a unique channel for the settlement of business disputes arising out of transnational commercial transactions. The module will be taught taking into account the general economic and philosophical underpinning of the system of international commercial arbitration.

  2. To examine the most representative legal regimes in the area of dispute resolution through an integrated study of its theoretical and practical aspects.

  3. To develop a sound knowledge of the legal framework of international commercial arbitration as discerned from the multilateral international conventions and arbitral rules promulgated by various international institutions.

  4. To facilitate the requisition of the nature and infrastructure of arbitration, including its advantages and disadvantages as a form of dispute resolution in the international trade context; the distinction between international and domestic arbitration; jurisdictional issues relevant to international arbitration; the nature of the arbitration agreement; the tribunal and the arbitrators; the process of arbitration, and the award and enforcement of international arbitration agreements.

  5. To provide a review of the principles and practices of international commercial arbitration and examine recent developments in international commercial arbitration and the emergence of converging arbitral rules.

  6. To explore current legal problems in arbitration, focusing on how to determine an appropriate approach when problems arise in actual practice, as well as the deeper questions of how the legal rules might fit into the existing framework of international commercial arbitration.

  7. To provide an opportunity to develop advanced research skills.

  8. To provide an opportunity to develop professional communication skills.

Course content

The course is divided broadly into three parts:

The first part of the course is concerned with the theoretical and institutional structure of arbitration. It begins with a historical overview of international commercial arbitration and a comparative analysis of arbitration and litigation. The aim of this section is to provide students with grounding in the rules and procedures of international commercial arbitration.

The second part of the course will be devoted to the examination of the legal framework within which arbitral disputes are resolved. This section focuses on certain specific aspects of international commercial arbitration such as the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards, the extent and timing of judicial review of awards, ground for refusing recognition or enforcement of awards, and interim measures of protection.

The third part of the course focuses on a review of the principles and practices of international commercial arbitration. This section examines recent developments in international commercial arbitration and the emergence of converging arbitral rules. Also included will be an overview of the arbitral institutions in China, Hong Kong and Japan.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

Displays ability within a specialized area of knowledge and skills, employing appropriate skills to conduct research. Work at threshold quality demonstrates an adequate knowledge and understanding of current issues in this field of study. It shows a critical awareness of current problems, some of which is informed by thinking at the forefront of the academic discipline. Work at this level shows a developing understanding of techniques applicable to the student's own research. It shows an ability of apply knowledge in an original way, and to use established techniques of research and enquiry to interpret knowledge in the discipline. The conceptual understanding evidenced by the work indicates that the student can evaluate scholarship in the field.

good

Displays accomplished ability within a specialized area of knowledge and skills, employing good quality skills to conduct research. Good work in this module will demonstrate a systematic knowledge and understanding of current issues in this field of study. It shows a critical awareness of current problems, much of which is at, or informed by thinking at, the forefront of the academic discipline. Work at this level shows a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to the student's own research. It shows an ability to apply knowledge in an original way, and to use established techniques of research and enquiry to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline. The conceptual understanding evidenced in the work indicates that the student can evaluate advanced scholarship in the discipline. The work shows an ability to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them, and, where, appropriate, propose hypotheses.

excellent

Displays mastery of a complex and specialized area of knowledge and skills, employing advanced skills to conduct research. Excellent work in this module will contain the qualities recognized in good work, but will show them in a more consistent way, and at all points. It will demonstrate a systematic knowledge and understanding of current issues in this field of study. It shows a critical awareness of current problems, much of which is at the forefront of this academic discipline. Work at this level shows a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to the student's own research or to advanced scholarship. It shows throughout an ability to apply knowledge in an original way, and to use established techniques of research and enquiry to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline. The conceptual understanding evidenced in the work indicates that the student can critically evaluate advanced scholarship in the discipline, and do so in a consistent manner. The work shows an ability to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them, and, where, appropriate, propose hypotheses.

Learning outcomes

  1. Critically analyse the main rules and principles operating in the areas of international commercial arbitration and set these in their appropriate context.

  2. Develop an epistemic awareness of the different theoretical notions of arbitration and their influence on arbitral practice.

  3. Demonstrate an advanced understanding to the nature of arbitration as a form of dispute resolution and its advantages and disadvantages relative to litigation, particularly in a context of international trade.

  4. Demonstrate a critical awareness of some of the major forms of institutional arbitration, such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and its Dispute Resolution Services.

  5. Formulate, investigate and refine suggestions for the development and/or reform of the existing law.

  6. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the relationship between domestic courts and arbitration and the growing autonomy of the arbitral process.

  7. Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the effect of parties; strategies on the actual functioning of the arbitral process, and an ability to advise clients on the drafting and enforcing of arbitration agreements and awards and the conduct of arbitral proceedings.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Written assignment 100

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Private study 128
Seminar

The module will consist of 11 x 2 hour seminars. Each lecture will be a preparatory introduction to the related seminar. For each seminar students will be expected to have prepared essential reading together with either preparation of problem questions, for which they will be expected to prepare brief answers which will enable them to participate in discussion of the questions in the seminars, or alternatively to prepare short individual preparations. The course includes a variety of practical exercises and mock arbitration cases aiming to provide students with critical skills and practical insight into handling different disputes. Other forms of teaching exercises such as team presentations may be used from time to time.

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Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • present reasoned, critical, comparative responses to the views of others on legal subjects within a Welsh, United Kingdom, European and/or global context;
  • present to others from a specialist or non-specialist background, reasoned, critical, comparative presentations relating to legal subjects within a Welsh, United Kingdom, European and/or global context;
  • Students will acquire knowledge and understanding of basic principles, advanced level theories and explore the many traditional and contemporary challenges in International Law. They will receive a balanced education in the relevant law, theory, politics and practice.
  • Students will be taught through a range of methods, balancing theory and practice, and aiming at developing critical thinkers able to respond to the intellectual and professional challenges facing contemporary International Lawyers.
  • write sustained critical expositions of any given area of the legal subjects studied and present the findings clearly, logically and coherently;

Resources

Reading list

Redfern and Hunter, Law and Practice of International Commercial Arbitration, Sweet & Maxwell, 4th ed. (2004) Collier and Lowe, The Settlement of Disputes in International Law, OUP (1999) Lew, Mistelis and Kröll, Comparative International Commercial Arbitration, Kluwer Law International (2003) Mustill and Boyd, Commercial Arbitration 2001 Companion, London and Edinburgh, Butterworths (2001) Born, International Arbitration: Law and Practice (2012) Margaret L. Moses, The Principles and Practice of International Commercial Arbitration, Cambridge University Press, 17 Mar 2008 Edited by Loukas A. Mistelis & Stavros L. Brekoulakis, Arbitrability : international & comparative perspectives (2009) Andrew Tweeddale, Keren Tweeddale, Arbitration of commercial disputes : international and English law and practice (2007) Strong, Stacie, Research and practice in international commercial arbitration : sources and strategies (2009)

Courses including this module