International Commercial Arbitration

A guide to international arbitration institutions and to information about the commercial arbitration process


Commercial arbitration is an alternative disupte resolution method, widely used in the United States and other countries. The use of commercial arbitration is voluntary. Clauses naming the location of an arbitration and the rules to be applied are usually included in the contract between the parties.

There are both institutional and ad hoc arbitrations. The former are conducted by organizations which specialize in the process. Many have their own procedural rules. Ad hoc arbitrations allow disputing parties to select arbitrators and applicable rules.

International commercial arbitration involves transactions across national boundaries. It is popular because it enables parties to avoid real or perceived prejudice against a foreign litigant in national courts. It may also be faster and less expensive than recourse to the courts. At the parties' request, the results of an arbitration may be kept confidential. Arbitration decisions are usually not subject to judicial review, but can usually be enforced in the courts. See the tab on appeal and enforcement for sources discussing circumstances under which awards can be appealed.

This research guide identifies some of the institutions engaged in international commercial arbitration. It links to online text and status information about some major commercial arbitration treaties. It lists some of the sources which publish arbitration awards which the parties have agreed to make public.

The Mabie Llibrary Resrouces tab will help you locate print and electronic information in our libary about international commerical arbitration.

There is a great deal of information available about international commercial arbitration, including dozens of online research guides. If you cannot find the information you need, please stop by Research Services or contact a Research Librarian via phone, email or text.

Heafey Law Library Research Team