Law of Commercial Arbitration

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Year 3 of 3 or Year 4 of 4
Term 1
Module code
FHEQ Level
School of Law

Module overview

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 discourses on these topics in addition to having a very good understanding of how arbitration functions in practice.


Students taking this module must also have taken and passed:

Objectives and learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Evidence a clear understanding of the role of arbitration in commerce
  • Evidence a clear understanding of the different juridical theories and academic discourses underpinning arbitration
  • Evidence a clear understanding of the fundamental role of the arbitration agreement and the arbitrators in the arbitral reference
  • Evidence a clear understanding of how to enforce or challenge an arbitral award;
  • Develop basic research skills
  • Present a well-researched and argued essay on any aspect of the law of arbitration


  • Weekly 2-hour lecture/seminar

Method of assessment

  • Group task (20%)
  • Essay of 2500 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.