International Arbitration


International Arbitration | Research Guide International Law

International Commercial Arbitration is a method of private dispute resolution whereby the parties to an international business contract agree to have their disputes resolved by one or more private individuals, i.e., the arbitrators rather than by a court of law.  It requires the agreement of the parties, which is usually given via an arbitration clause that is inserted into the contract or business agreement. The decision of the arbitrator(s) is final and binding on the parties on the basis of their initial agreement to arbitrate. In case the arbitral decision (award) is not carried out by the losing party, performance of it may be enforced through national court proceedings.

This Guide is intended as a starting point for research on International Commercial Arbitration. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library’s systematic code, i.e., 322 and keywords International Arbitration and International Commercial Arbitration are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.

Online publications released during January/February 2015

Kurtz, Jürgen, and Luke R. Nottage, “Investment Treaty Arbitration ‘Down Under’: Policy and Politics in Australia” (February 2015), ICSID Review (2015), Forthcoming; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 15/06.
Abstract: This paper succinctly summarises Australia’s evolving policy debate over Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). Part I sketches some regional and global context. Part II briefly revisits the Productivity Commission’s report of 2010, and longer-standing concerns from the political left, which coalesced in the …

Zlatanska, Elina, “To Publish, or Not to Publish Arbitral Awards: That is the Question…” (February 2015), International Journal of Arbitration, Mediation and Dispute Management, 81 (2015), No. 1.
Abstract: The vast majority of the information concerning international commercial arbitration and the arbitrators’ decision-making method is obtained through anecdotal sources and a limited number of published awards. The aim of this article is to review the advantages and disadvantages of systematic publication of …

Rothwell, Donald R., “The Arbitration between the People’s Republic of China and the Philippines Over the Dispute in the South China Sea” (January 2015), ANU College of Law Research Paper No. 14-48.
Abstract: International law has a significant role to play in the multiple disputes that exist throughout the South China Sea. The first relevant area of international law is that dealing with territoriality and the basis under international law that States are able to assert, and have recognised, territorial claims. The second body of …

Argen, Robert, “Ending Blind Spot Justice: Broadening the Transparency Trend in International Arbitration” (January 2015), Brooklyn Journal of International Law, (2015), Forthcoming.
Abstract: The debate regarding the importance of transparency versus privacy and confidentiality in international arbitration is at a crossroads. On April 1, 2014, UNCITRAL’s “ground-breaking” Rules on Transparency in Treaty-Based Investor-State Arbitration (“Transparency Rules”) took effect. But the limited …

Meshel, Tamar, “Human Rights in Investor-State Arbitration: The Human Right to Water and Beyond” (January 2015), Journal of International Dispute Settlement, 6 (2015), No. 2, Forthcoming.
Abstract: This article analyzes the restrictive approach adopted by investor-State arbitration tribunals to human rights arguments raised by host States, as exemplified in the case of the human right to water, and examines the potential implications of this approach for the international human rights regime and the legitimacy of …

Sappideen, Razeen and He, Ling Ling, “Dispute Resolution in Investment Treaties: Balancing the Rights of Investors and Host States” (January 2015), Journal of World Trade, (2015), p. 85.
Abstract: Bilateral and multilateral investment treaties permit investors to bypass the courts of their host States and have their investment disputes resolved through arbitration. Challenges e.g., by Phillip Morris to the Australian government plain packaging of cigarettes legislation, has caused a rethink of the appropriateness …

Daujotas, Rimantas, “ICSID ‘Foreign’ Investment Requirement in Case of Borrowed Funds” (January 2015), Eurasia Arbitration Journal, 1 (2015).
Abstract: In this essay, analysis of a specific question related to the notion of investor’s nationality will be asked – can one consider an investment and, respectively, investor as foreign, if the investor who invests abroad (e.g. purchase of shares of local company) also borrows abroad? In order to answer this dilemma, the object and …

Caron, David D., “Regulating Opacity: Shaping How Tribunals Think” (January 2015), Chapter in Practicing Virtue: Inside International Arbitration, 2015, Forthcoming ; King’s College London Law School Research Paper No. 2015-07.
Abstract: This manuscript in a novel fashion looks at transparency by considering an aspect of arbitration where the opposite condition remains quite accepted; namely, the opacity of the deliberations of the arbitral tribunal. The manuscript considers how the institutional structure of arbitration shapes the decision-making …

Pauwelyn , Joost, “WTO Panelists Are From Mars, ICSID Arbitrators Are From Venus: Why? And Does it Matter?” (January 2015), Working Paper.
Abstract: Who are the individuals deciding today’s international disputes? Is the pool of people, their nationality, professional background, diversity, status or ideology different across international tribunals? If so, why? And does it matter in terms of outcomes, or the effectiveness or legitimacy of the tribunal or the …



Reference works

Recent books

Recent articles


Periodicals, serial publications


New titles

Updated every Friday morning.

The Peace Palace Library has a collection of over a million publications. Each week, about six hundred new titles are added to our collection: books, articles, documents, online publications, etc. On this page, access is provided to this week’s new titles on International Arbitration and International Commercial Arbitration.

1. Une pièce importante dans la construction du droit OHADA
Une pièce importante dans la construction du droit OHADA : l'Arrêt Planor Afrique SA. C/ Atlantique Telecom SA. du 31 janvier 2011 / par Jean-Marie Tchakoua. - [Alphen aan den Rijn] : Wolters Kluwer ; [Africa] : Les Éditions du Centre de Recherches et d'Études en Droit et Institutions Judiciaires en Afrique (CREDIJ). - Page 705-724 In: De l'esprit du droit africain : mélanges en l'honneur de Paul Gérard Pougoué, ISBN 9789991917603: (2014), Page 705-724. - 2014
Keywords: Africa, Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa, Unification of law, Cases, International commercial arbitration,

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  • Rogers, C.A., Ethics in International Arbitration, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014.

    Rogers, C.A., Ethics in International Arbitration, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014.

    International arbitration is a remarkably resilient institution, but many unresolved and largely unacknowledged ethical quandaries lurk below the surface. Globalisation of commercial trade has increased the number and diversity of parties, counsel, experts and arbitrators, which has in turn lead to more frequent ethical conflicts just as procedures have become more formal and transparent.  The predictable result is that ethical transgressions are increasingly evident and less tolerable. Despite these developments, regulation of various actors in the systemarbitrators, lawyers, experts, third-party funders and arbitral institutionsremains ambiguous and often ineffectual. Ethics in International Arbitration systematically analyses the causes and effects of these developments as they relate to the professional conduct of arbitrators, counsel, experts, and third-party funders in international commercial and investment arbitration.  This work proposes a model for effective ethical self-regulation, meaning regulation of professional conduct at an international level and within existing arbitral procedures and structures. The work draws on historical developments and current trends to propose analytical frameworks for addressing existing problems and reifying the legitimacy of international arbitration into the future.

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  • Born, G.B., International Commercial Arbitration (3 vols) (2nd ed.), Alphen a/d Rijn, Kluwer Law International, 2014.

    Born, G.B., International Commercial Arbitration (2nd ed.), Alphen a/d Rijn, Kluwer Law International, 2014.

    The treatise comprehensively examines the law and practice of  contemporary international commercial arbitration, thoroughly explicating all  relevant international conventions, national arbitration statutes and  institutional arbitration rules. It focuses on both international instruments  (particularly the New York Convention) and national law provisions in all  leading jurisdictions (including the UNCITRAL Model Law on International  Commercial Arbitration). Practitioners, academics, clients, institutions and  other users of international commercial arbitration will find clear and  authoritative guidance in this work.
    The second edition of International Commercial Arbitration has been  extensively revised, expanded and updated, to include all legislative,  judicial and arbitral authorities material in the field of international  arbitration prior to January 2014. It also includes expanded treatment of  annulment, recognition of awards, counsel ethics, arbitrator independence and  impartiality and applicable law.The revised 4,000 page text contains  references to more than 20,000 cases, awards and other authorities.

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  • Vorburger, S., International Arbitration and Cross-Border Insolvency : Comparative Perspectives, Alphen a/d Rijn, Kluwer Law International, 2014.

    Vorburger, S., International Arbitration and Cross-Border Insolvency : Comparative Perspectives, Alphen a/d Rijn, Kluwer Law International, 2014.

    This book provides an in-depth analysis of applicable rules and policies under  the current legal framework and case law of national courts and arbitral  tribunals, emphasizing developments in five countries where high levels of  international arbitration occur: England, the United States, France, Germany  and Switzerland. Among the complex issues that arise when an insolvency  disrupts an arbitration, the author examines the following: recognition of insolvencies by arbitral tribunals; determination of the law applicable to the effects of an insolvency on  arbitration; effects of an insolvency on validity and scope of an arbitration agreement; effects of an insolvency on capacity of the parties to an international  arbitration; suspension of arbitral proceedings due to an insolvency; and effects of an insolvency on the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards.  In addition to providing a comparative legal analysis of issues that arise in  connection with the collision of international arbitration and cross-border  insolvency, the author sets out proposals to clarify policy and procedure.  Dealing with cross-border insolvency law issues in international arbitration  presents an enormous challenge for arbitration practitioners, arbitral  tribunals and national courts.

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  • Daly, B.W. (et al.), A Guide to the PCA Arbitration Rules, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014.

    Daly, B.W. (et al.), A Guide to the PCA Arbitration Rules, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014.

    This is a guide to and commentary on the new procedural rules for arbitration adopted by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in December 2012. The PCA is a unique arbitral institution – an intergovernmental organization counting over one hundred member states – with a rapidly growing annual caseload of arbitrations involving various combinations of states, state entities, intergovernmental organizations, and private parties. The 2012 PCA Rules are the most recent set of arbitral rules from any institution, and constitute a consolidation of four sets of PCA Rules drafted in the 1990s, and updated in light of PCA experience and the revision of other procedural regimes. They include special provisions adapted to arbitrations involving public entities and a number of novel provisions drafted on the basis of the PCA’s experience administering arbitrations. In recent years, the PCA caseload has expanded to the extent that the total amount in dispute in PCA cases is estimated to be greater than that in any other arbitral institution, increasing the need for a comprehensive guide to arbitration under its auspices. This text benefits from the unparalleled insights of its three co-authors, all of whom are PCA lawyers, one of whom is the Deputy Secretary-General of the PCA, and a member of the drafting committee for the 2012 PCA Rules. An introductory chapter, describing the mandate for the revised rules from the PCA member states, as well as the drafting process itself, is followed by a rule-by-rule analysis following the familiar structure of the rules themselves. This analysis is split into four sections: the introductory rules; the composition of the arbitral tribunal; arbitral proceedings; and the award. The comprehensive appendices are intended to reduce the need for recourse to other materials and provide a stand-alone resource.

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  • Tang, Z., Jurisdiction and Arbitration Agreements in International Commercial Law, London, New York, 2014.

    Tang, Z., Jurisdiction and Arbitration Agreements in International Commercial Law, London, New York, 2014.

    Arbitration and jurisdiction agreements are frequently used in transnational commercial contracts to reduce risk, gain efficacy and acquire certainty and predictability. Because of the similarities between these two types of procedural autonomy agreements, they are often treated in a similar way by courts and practitioners. This book offers a comprehensive study of the prerequisites, effectiveness, and enforcement of exclusive jurisdiction and arbitration agreements in international dispute resolution. It examines whether jurisdiction and arbitration clauses have identical effects in private international law and whether they have been or should be given the same treatment by most countries in the world. By comparing the treatment of these clauses in the US, China, UK and EU, Zheng Sophia Tang demonstrates how, in practice, exclusive jurisdiction and arbitration agreements are enforced. The book considers whether the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements could be treated as a litigating counterpart to the New York Convention, and whether it could work successfully to facilitate judicial cooperation and party autonomy in international commerce. This book breaks new ground in combining updated materials in EU, US and UK law with unique resources on Chinese law and practice. It will be valuable for academics and practitioners working in the field of private international law and international arbitration.

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  • Ostrove, M., Salomon, C., and B. Shifman (eds), Choice of Venue in International Arbitration, Oxford, Oxford Unversity Press, 2014.

    Ostrove, M., Salomon, C., and B. Shifman (eds), Choice of Venue in International Arbitration, Oxford, Oxford Unversity Press, 2014.

    The relative merits of different arbitral venues are conveyed accessibly and practically in this far-reaching survey, with contributions from prestigious practitioners from every major global seat. The book offers comparative analysis of the relative challenges arising at venues around the world. A reliable tool during the negotiation and drafting stages, it enables a newly tactical consideration of venue, whilst providing instant answers to those in unfamiliar jurisdictions. Offering detailed analysis of a range of key venues, it addresses not only the practical reality but also the history and development in these seats, making the book both an academic and a practical investment.

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  • Webster, T. and M. Bühler, Handbook of ICC arbitration : Commentary, Precedents, Materials, London, Sweet & Maxwell/Thomson Reuters, 2014.

    Webster, T. and M. Bühler, Handbook of ICC arbitration : Commentary, Precedents, Materials, London, Sweet & Maxwell/Thomson Reuters, 2014.

    The Handbook of ICC Arbitration provides expert analysis of the whole process of using and adhering to the ICC Arbitration Rules. It examines close up the diverse issues that can occur during an arbitration and hosts essential information related to arbitration on an international level with reference to published and unpublished awards and procedural orders, as well as to many decisions of national courts. This text is a practical, rule-by-rule guide to the Rules of the International Chamber of Commerce, one of the world’s leading international arbitration institutions. It is for both the experienced practitioner and those approaching international arbitration for the first time, clearly explaining basic principles while at the same time providing the depth of analysis and references needed to solve the complex procedural issues that can arise during the arbitration process. The chapters follow the Rules of the ICC, each one setting out the relevant principles in plain English, before dealing with more complicated issues of interpretation, providing reference to discussions of the issues by other authors and to relevant case law and awards.

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  • Kluwer  Arbitration Online : A fully-searchable database of primary and secondary materials in the field of International Arbitration and International Commercial Arbitration, with access to full-text downloads of materialsFully. Searching and browsing is quick and simple, as the database has been organized into the following specific arbitration categories: Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs), Conventions, Countries, Model Clauses, Legislation, NY Convention Decisions, Organizations and Rules but also e-books, journals and loose-leafs.  Each main category is further grouped into the regions Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, South America and Oceania.
  • Oxford Reports on International Investment Claims : Oxford Reports on International Investment Claims offers headnotes and commentaries by practicioners and scholars. The content of the database, approximately 200 cases for the November 2008 launch, is peer-reviewed by an expert editorial board. It also provides translations of key passages for all non-English judgments. The database includes decisions and awards from London Court of International Arbitration, International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, International Chamber of Commerce, Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Permanent Court of Arbitration.
  • WESTLAW International Arbitration Databases : covers a wide range of international arbitration materials, including those of international and national arbitration organizations and tribunals. For example, International Commercial Arbitration – All (database identifier ICA-ALL) combines many of the WESTLAW materials on international commercial arbitration in one database. Westlaw has also created an Arbitration tab that puts all its arbitration databases on one screen.  You can also see a list of all Westlaw international arbitration databases by searching the WESTLAW Database Directory.
  • Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Commercial Arbitration, International, by Richard H. Kreindler and Rita Heinemann.
  • Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Inter-American Commercial Arbitration Commission (IACAC), by Santiago Montt.
  • Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Commercial Arbitration and Mediation Center for the Americas (CAMCA), by Andrea Ernst.
  • Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Specific Cases and Decisions.
  • IA Reporter (Investment Arbitration Reporter): Investment Arbitration Reporter is an electronic news service tracking international arbitrations between foreign investors and their host governments.
  • TradeLawGuide provides full-text of official awards, decisions and other WTO documents and .notes up. WTO decisions by tracking how subsequent WTO reports, awards and decisions have considered specific passages in WTO jurisprudence. The database features a citator that collects all jurisprudence under a treaty provision for the WTO system and also offers a treaty interpretation, terms & phrases and other tools. WTO law has been referred to frequently in investor-state arbitrations in various contexts. Tribunals have explicitly found that WTO law is relevant to investor-state arbitration. Therefore the database contains a special section on WTO Law in Investment Arbitration.
  • legal research database for international trade law issues, providing key WTO/GATT texts and dispute decisions, summaries and analysis. You can search in the index of the World Trade Organization reports and arbitrations, articles on trade law and selected amicus submissions in WTO disputes.


  • UPEACE/Peace Palace Library Lecture: Judge Kenneth Keith and PCA Legal Counsel Judith Levine on International Water Disputes

    On Wednesday January 28, 2015, the fourth of a series of Lectures on Peacebuilding in Progress was held at the Academy Building of the Peace Palace, The Hague. The lectures on Peacebuilding are organised by the UPEACE Centre The Hague and the Peace Palace Library.

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  • Abyei Arbitration

    From Saturday 18 until Thursday 23 April oral pleadings are being held at the Peace Palace in The Hague in the arbitration case between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) concerning the delimitation of the Abyei Area. The arbitration is based on an Arbitration Agreement between the Parties that was deposited with the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on 11 July 2008.

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See also

More Research guides on Settlement of International Disputes

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