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Course Information

International Commercial Arbitration Short Course

This short course begins with a discussion of how international commercial arbitration (“ICA”) evolved to address disputes arising in the context of global trade and investment. Three foundational “pillars” underlying ICA are then examined: treaties; national arbitration statutes and agreements to arbitrate augmented by institutional rules. Next, the course considers four important features of the international arbitration landscape: the presumption of arbitrability; the notion of separability (the way courts deal with challenges to contracts containing arbitration clauses); jurisdictional issues and the role of the “seat” of arbitration. With this background, the course turns to specific issues arising in ICA including: choice of law, disclosure/discovery, third party practice and when/how non-signatories may be required to arbitrate. Finally, the course covers applications to enforce or annul arbitral awards. While the focus is largely on the U.S. Federal Arbitration Act and U.S. cases, the approaches of certain other jurisdictions are also noted. Practical exercises and discussions are interspersed with lectures and consider when and why a party might or might not agree to arbitrate, drafting of arbitration agreements, selection of the arbitral seat, nomination of arbitrators, discovery/disclosure and enforcement/annulment. Pass/fail course. [1]