This course explores how transnational commercial disputes may be resolved in an authoritative, binding legal way without resorting to litigation before a court. Court-related litigation is more familiar to both lawyers and non-lawyers alike, yet captures only a fraction of the activity towards resolving disputes that occurs before consensual arbitration. Much as there has been a focus in domestic law on 'alternative dispute resolution', so in our globalised economy there is a whole institutional architecture for resolving private commercial disputes with a transnational dimension. The availability of such trusted arbitration (and adjudication) forums is central to parties' confidence in contractual arrangements, and so to facilitating transnational commerce in general. The importance of international commercial arbitration to international commerce is a key theme throughout the course.
This course will cover topics such as the nature and sources of international arbitration; drafting and enforcing arbitration agreements; arbitral procedures and how domestic (state) courts support the international arbitral process and awards made by arbitrators; the law applicable to the merits in international arbitration; challenging, recognising and enforcing awards; and the role of public policy in international arbitration. It will also reflect on the composition, competency and competition among different major global forums for international commercial arbitration: who are arbitrators, where are they doing this, what trends can be discerned in the non-judicial but binding legal resolution of commercial disputes? The course is intended primarily for intensive delivery, and for offshore delivery in Hong Kong (a global arbitration hub), in cooperation with partners at the City University of Hong Kong.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Evaluate complex problems, concepts and theories in international / transnational commercial arbitration law and devise solutions appropriate to the specific context.
- Undertake legal research, legal writing and resolution of complex legal problems with a transnational commercial arbitration dimension across a range of issues and topics.
- Research and write on the practice or theory of transnational commercial arbitration law including in-depth legal research on an aspect of this field.
- Incorporate social, policy, comparative or interdisciplinary approaches into legal analysis of transnational commercial arbitration law issues.
- Communicate legal, policy and theoretical perspectives on transnational commercial arbitration law issues effectively, especially in writing.
- Structure, sustain and evaluate legal argument in and about transnational commercial arbitration law.
- Develop and apply legal knowledge to complex transnational commercial arbitration legal problems in an analytical and creative manner.
- Assessment will likely be in two parts, comprising: (null) [LO null]
- (1) a 30% shorter discussion-heavy reflective 'opinion paper' of 1,500 words engaging in a particular topic of the course, from a list of some 10-12 'hot or perennial topics' in this subject as taught; this is not intended as a research-heavy exercise, but is a preliminary task towards refining the student's proposed approach to the longer research essay. Not being a research paper, the task envisages reflective engagement and opinion of the sort seen in a blog piece, and seeks to draw out students' own informed reflections on the topic especially in its broader commercial, social and public policy context, before refining these thoughts into a fully researched analytical essay in the second assessment piece. This relates to all Learning Outcomes, esp. 1, 4, 5 and 7; and (30) [LO null]
- (2) a research assignment (max. 5,000 words, 70%), normally developing the topic explored in the first assessment but with a full research and analysis. This essay relates to all Learning Outcomes, esp. 1, 2, 3, and 6. (70) [LO null]
- (3) The course would also include an online quiz or quizzes during the intensive delivery period, with automatic feedback generated for incorrect answers. This will allow students to check and consolidate their understanding before the delivery period is completed, and so to seek lecturer clarification. (null) [LO null]
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
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Approx. 26 hours of teaching (either in the form of 4-6 weeks online engagement and instruction followed by 2-day intensive in-person teaching, or as a 4 day intensive face-to-face course). Where offered as a 4-day intensive, the course will also require advanced preparation through assigned readings. In total, it is anticipated that the hours required for completion this course (preparation, online engagement and face-to-face teaching, and completion of assessment) will not exceed 120 hours.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Prescribed TextsThere is no single prescribed text for this course. Students will benefit from a comprehensive (but selective) reading guide for the subject overall, and by topic.
Preliminary ReadingThe full required and recommended reading list for this course will be posted on the course Wattle page. General indicate reading includes the following, in addition to institution-specific materials from the ICC, UNCITRAL and other arbitration forums or regimes:Redfern and Hunter on International Arbitration, 2015, Nigel Blackaby et al.Handbook on international arbitration and ADR, Thomas E. Carbonneau. International commercial arbitration, (7 vol. looseleaf set), Clive Schmitthoff (ed.).The leading arbitrators' guide to international arbitration, Lawrence Newman, Richard Hill (eds.).Russell on Arbitration, 2015, David St John Sutton.Introduction to International Arbitration Practice, 2014, Pierre Karrer.
Assumed KnowledgeThe course does not have formally 'assumed knowledge' dimensions.Students who have completed courses in Contract Law, Corporate and/or Commercial Law, and Litigation and Dispute Settlement may find some of the course content more familiar.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.