SOAS University of London

School of Law

Law of Commercial Arbitration

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Year 3 of 3 or Year 4 of 4
Taught in:
Term 1

This module will introduce students to the general law and practice of commercial arbitration. It will engage with the theoretical basis of arbitration; its regulatory regimes; the fundamental nature of the arbitration agreement in any consensual arbitration; the role of the arbitrators in the reference; and how the final award can be enforced or challenged before a national court. The module will be taught through a critical engagement with relevant laws, rules, decisions from national courts and arbitral awards, and legal writings on the subject. At the end of the module, students should be very familiar with current academic exchanges on these topics in addition to a very good understanding of how arbitration functions in practice.


Students taking this module must also have taken and passed:
Contract Law (155200071)

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

  • To evidence a clear understanding of the role of arbitration in commerce;
  • To evidence a clear understanding of the different juridical theories and academic discourses underpinning arbitration;
  • To evidence a clear understanding of the different phases of the arbitration reference;
  • To evidence a clear understanding of the fundamental role of the arbitration agreement;
  • To show a full appreciation of the role of the arbitrator in the arbitral reference;
  • To evidence a clear understanding of how to enforce or challenge an arbitral award;
  •  To present a well-researched and argued essay on any aspect of the law of arbitration.


  • Weekly 2 hour lecture

Method of assessment

  • Group task (10%)
  • Research outline (10%)
  • Essay of 3,000 words (80%)

Suggested reading

  • Onyema E, International Commercial Arbitration and the Arbitrator’s Contract, Routledge, 2010.
  • Blackaby N, Partasides C, Redefrn A & Hunter M, Redfern & Hunter on International Arbitration, 5th edition, OUP, 2009 (6th edition expected in 2015).


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules