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School of Law

International Commercial and Investment Arbitration

Course Code:
15PLAC153
Unit value:
1
Taught in:
Full Year

This international commercial and investment arbitration (ICIA) course (accredited by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators) focuses on transmitting core legal knowledge of the functioning of the international commercial and investment arbitration system.

Teaching on the course is a combination of seminars and mooting. The seminars in term 1 examine the theories of arbitration; the agreement to arbitrate; setting up the arbitral tribunal; arbitral procedure; the award; enforcement and challenge of the award and the role of national courts. Term 2 comprises a mix of seminars on international investment law and arbitration and oral hearings on a fictional commercial dispute.  By its very nature, international arbitration is comparative since it involves the application of a matrix of national laws, arbitration rules and international conventions. The course will be taught in this manner to enable the students appreciate its core legal basis, cross cultural attributes and international perspective.

On completion of this course, students will acquire qualitative legal skills to fully participate in the global world of international arbitration.

The course positions SOAS as a player in the international arbitration providers market, not just as an institution with regional expertise but also possessing relevant international commercial law expertise.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

At the end of the course students should:

Academic:

  • have detailed knowledge and understanding of the theoretical basis of international commercial arbitration;
  • have detailed understanding of the role and function of arbitrators and institutions in international commercial arbitration;
  • have detailed understanding of the workings of international commercial arbitration;
  • be able to evaluate the relationship between the various legal regimes in international commercial arbitration and its trans-national nature;
  • be able to determine and apply arbitral principles, laws and rules to factual scenarios;
  • understand the peculiar attributes and practice of arbitration in maritime, trade and construction disputes;
  • be able to apply the knowledge gained in professional practice.


Non-academic Skills:

  • be equipped to deal with legal issues under pressure of time and space – assessed through the written examination;
  • research skills – know where to find materials as needed – assessed through essay and problem based questions in the examination;
  • structure output from research in an accessible manner – assessed through both essay and problem based questions in the examination;
  • identify relevant facts from fiction – assessed through problem based questions in the examination;
  • teamwork skills – imparted through participation in moots and mock arbitration sessions;
  • communication (written and verbal) skills – assessed through written examinations and imparted through moot or mock arbitration sessions;
  • presentation (written and verbal) skills – assessed through written examinations and imparted through moot or mock arbitration sessions.

Method of assessment

  • Coursework: 40% (6000 words)
  • Unseen written exam: 60%

Suggested reading

There is no one textbook recommended for this course but a list will be provided to the students for guidance. The primary materials will be the international conventions, national laws, arbitration rules, court decisions and arbitral awards that will be examined in the seminars.