International Commercial Arbitration - LAWS8110

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 7 20 (10) Gbenga Oduntan checkmark-circle


The aim of the module is to focus on the theoretical, institutional and practical aspects of modern international commercial arbitration. This would involve a close examination of the ad hoc systems and the main institutional structures (e.g., ICC, ICSID, WIPO, Iran-US Claims Tribunal, and PCA). The module covers current issues and developments relating to international commercial arbitration including: arbitral jurisdiction; applicable procedural and substantive laws; the status and role of arbitration agreements; the conduct of arbitral proceedings; the arbitral award; challenge, recognition and enforcement of award; and online arbitration/online dispute resolution (ODR). The English Arbitration Act 1996 and the UNCITRAL Rules as well as the UNCITRAL Model Law will be examined closely. The course will also critically examine the relationship between international commercial arbitration and international development law as well as aspects of the international commercial arbitration concerning sovereign states in oil and gas disputes. Comparative study will be made of the emerging commercial arbitration legislation and international arbitral practice of certain developing states such as Nigeria, India and China. The course also aims to provide an appreciation of the similarities and contrasts between the work of international arbitral institutions and the work of international courts such as the International Court of Justice in commercial and economic matters.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 18
Private study hours: 182
Total study hours: 200


LLM in (Specialisation); LLM in Law; PG Diploma in (Specialisation); PG Certificate in Law

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Essay of no more than 4000 words (80%)
Presentation, in groups, approx. 15 minutes per group mark awarded for the group (10%)
Group work paper, 1000 words per group member, mark awarded for the paper overall (10%)

For the presentation and group work paper, the convenor will take opportunities to clarify aspects of each student's contribution to the group, as well as their overall knowledge and understanding. Students will also have the ability to discuss any 'free-riding' concerns with the convenor as necessary.

Reassessment methods

Reassessment Instrument: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

• Alvarez, G.A. & Reisman W.M., The Reasons Requirement in International Investment Arbitration: Critical Case Studies (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2008).
• Berger, K P., Private Dispute Resolution in International Business: Negotiation, Mediation, Arbitration (3rd ed., Kluwer Law International, 2015).
• Buhring-Uhle C., Arbitration and Mediation in International Business (2nd revised ed, Kluwer Law Interantional, 2006)
• Dezalay, Y. and Bryant, G.G., Dealing in Virtue: International Commercial Arbitration and the Construction of A Transnational Legal Order (2nd ed., The University of Chicago Press, 1998).
• Dowling-Hussey, A. & Dunne, D., Arbitration Law (Round Hall, 31 Oct 2008).
• Marshall, E.A., Gill: The Law of Arbitration (4th revises ed., Sweet & Maxwell, 2001).
• Marcel, F. & Ly, F., Drafting International Contracts (Bril- Nijhoff, 2006).
• Redfern, A. & Hunter, M., Law and Practice of International Commercial Arbitration (6th ed., 2015).

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge of the underlying concepts and principles associated with the study of international commercial arbitration;
2. Demonstrate a factual and conceptual knowledge base, with some appreciation of the breadth of the field of international dispute
resolution and the relevant terminology;
3. Draft, evaluate and interpret arbitration and other dispute resolution clauses;
4. Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the well-established principles of alternative dispute resolution;
5. Apply underlying concepts and principles of arbitration and ADR where appropriate in real life scenarios an employment context;
6. Demonstrate knowledge of the main arbitration conventions and national laws relevant to the regulation of international commercial
7. Critically understand the shortcomings of the international regime of recognition and enforcement of arbitral wards;
8. Demonstrate an understanding of the limits of their knowledge, and how this influences analyses and interpretations.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Conduct independent research which informs a sustained and complex argument;
2. Present complex arguments in writing and/or orally;
3. Appreciate that juridical problems can only be fully understood through interdisciplinary research methods;
4. Use electronic data bases for original legal research – e.g. carry out online, subject specific journal searches;
5. Make proper use of the library resources by way of law reports, articles and monographs and textbooks.


Stage 1


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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