International commercial transactions, especially in energy, usually require international arbitration of disputes, so the transnational lawyer should know the field. This course seeks to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to advise clients, draft adequate arbitration agreements, spot bad ones, and advise on enforcement of international arbitration awards.
More generally, international arbitration represents one area where states have delegated a judicial function to private individuals. Those arbitrators enjoy wide discretion, act as judge and jury and render globally portable awards that suffer minimal state oversight. Understanding the terms of that delegation, which differ from country to country, will allow students to appreciate what can, and should, be left to private ordering of disputes.
The course will address the major topics in international arbitration: its contractual nature; the “who (court or arbitrator) decides” question; choice of law; arbitrator selection; the role of international treaties; and review and enforcement of arbitration agreements and awards.
Student performance is evaluated on a final exam, with a substantial portion of the grade dependent on class participation.