LLM Comparative International Commercial Arbitration

Students contributing in a seminarModule leader: N. Jansen Calamita

Teaching and assessment (2014): Semester 1, Exam - 3hrs

Module description:

International commercial arbitration is the most widely used method for the settlement of disputes concerning international economic transactions, whether between private parties or between a private party and a State entity. Arbitration is a consensual dispute resolution process based upon the agreement of the parties. It is private, in the sense that it is not part of the State system of justice, and it leads to a final and binding decision that will be given execution by the courts.

This module addresses the essential features of this process. Using a comparative approach, students will familiarize themselves with the core principles of international commercial arbitration as reflected in international conventions (e.g., the New York Convention and ICSID Convention), national law (esp., the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration), arbitral rules (e.g., UNCITRAL ICC and ICSID), and national court decisions.

This module will enable students to evaluate critically the rules, policies and principles of international commercial arbitration and investor-State arbitration. Students will also develop the ability to identify and resolve legal arguments arising in such disputes. This option especially complements other options such as International Investment Law and Policy and International and Comparative Oil and Gas Law.

Seminar topics:

  • The juridical nature of arbitration
  • Sources of law and rules in international commercial arbitration, especially the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration
  • The legal character of the arbitration agreement
  • The role and powers of the arbitral tribunal
  • The process of arbitration and the conduct of hearings
  • The jurisdiction of the courts in relation to arbitration
  • The nature of arbitral awards
  • Issues arising in connection with the challenge and enforcement of international arbitral awards


Modules and Courses are constantly updated and under review. As with most academic programmes, please remember that it is possible that a module may not be offered in any particular year, for instance because a member of staff is on study leave or too few students opt for it. The University of Birmingham reserves the right to vary or withdraw any course or module.