St. Gallen International Dispute Resolution Conference in Switzerland to feature talks by Law School faculty, October 14–15, 2010

The University of Texas School of Law’s Dean Lawrence Sager and Professor Alan Rau will speak at the third St. Gallen International Dispute Resolution Conference in St. Gallen, Switzerland, on October 14–15, 2010.

The annual St. Gallen International Dispute Resolution Conference is chaired by Professor Carl Baudenbacher, who holds the Chair of Private, Commercial, and Economic Law at the University of St. Gallen and is also the president of the Court of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA Court) in Luxembourg.

Baudenbacher is the author of numerous works, primarily in the areas of European and international law, antitrust, intellectual property law, and the law of international courts. His publications in English include The EFTA Court in Action (German Law Publishers, 2010). He was for many years a regular visiting professor at the Law School and serves on the advisory board for its Center for Global Energy, International Arbitration, and Environmental Law.

The conference brings together leading scholars, judges, and practitioners of international and European law from all areas of dispute resolution, including diplomacy, arbitration, and adjudication by courts. This year’s edition deals with the role of precedent in dispute resolution.

“American lawyers will think of the stare decisis doctrine in this context. But the role of precedent can be manifold and may vary strongly from one jurisdiction to another,” Baudenbacher said. As a result, he added, the conference is divided into four panels: common law and civil law; arbitration; the World Trade Organization (WTO); and the Courts of the European Union and of EFTA. Speakers will include Justices from these Courts.

The conference venue is the parliament of the Canton of St. Gallen, located in the historic abbey district which also hosts one of the finest medieval libraries in the world, the St. Gallen Abbey Library.

Sager will deliver the conference keynote speech, “Case-by-Case and Issue-by-Issue Determination in Traditional Adjudication and in Arbitration: The Doctrinal Paradox Without Doctrine!” on Thursday, October 14, 2010.  Sager holds the John Jeffers Research Chair in Law and the Alice Jane Drysdale Sheffield Regents Chair at the Law School.

James Lloyd Loftis, ’90, a partner in the London and Houston offices of Vinson & Elkins LLP and an adjunct professor at the Law School, will also participate in the conference. Loftis and Professor Rau, one of the nation’s leading experts on arbitration, will speak on a Thursday panel titled “Precedent in Arbitration.”

Rau, who holds the Mark G. and Judy G. Yudof Chair in Law, serves as an adviser on the American Law Institute’s project to draft a Restatement of the U.S. Law of International Commercial Arbitration. Rau is an active arbitrator; the author of a widely-used alternative dispute resolution casebook and numerous scholarly articles; and a faculty member for the Law School’s Center for Global Energy, International Arbitration, and Environmental Law.  In November 2010, Rau will talk at a dispute resolution lecture series in Montreal sponsored by McGill University. His article, “Understanding (and Misunderstanding) ‘Primary Jurisdiction,’” which he delivered at the fourth annual International Arbitration Symposium in May 2010 in Houston, is forthcoming in the American Review of International Arbitration.

Loftis leads the international dispute resolution practice for Vinson & Elkins and serves on the advisory board of the Law School’s Center for Global Energy, International Arbitration, and Environmental Law. He teaches courses in international commercial arbitration and international investor-state arbitration at the Law School.

The Law School has had a long and robust relationship with St. Gallen and Baudenbacher. In 2008, St. Gallen and Baudenbacher hosted the first international dispute resolution conference in Switzerland, at which Rau and UT Law Professor Patricia Hansen, a prominent scholar in the area of international economic law, spoke. In 2009, Baudenbacher hosted the second dispute resolution conference and invited Rau and UT Law Professor Jay Westbrook—one of the world’s most distinguished bankruptcy scholars, and who also teaches commercial law and international business litigation—to speak.

In addition, the Law School partners with and hosts the Information Technology Law and Energy Law module for the University of St. Gallen’s Executive Master of European and International Business Law E.M.B.L.-HSG program each fall in Austin. Other venues include New York University; Harvard Law School; Waseda Law School (Tokyo, Japan); and Fudan School of Management (Shanghai, China). The Texas module is directed by UT Law Professor John Dzienkowski, who holds the Dean John F. Sutton Jr. Chair in Lawyering and the Legal Process. Since 2001, the Law School has participated in this one-week program, which holds a strong position in the landscape of executive law studies in Europe, and brings legal practitioners, managers, and engineers from all over the world to study in Texas. Baudenbacher directs this program, which will be held this year from October 31 to November 6, 2010, at the Law School.

More information about speakers, the venue and registration may be found at the conference’s website.


Laura Castro, UT Law Communications, 512-232-1229,

Simon Planzer, academic director of the Conference,