This spring term offering, co-taught by Professor George Bermann and international arbitration practitioners Viren Mascarenhas and Rahim Moloo, is designed to meet the needs of students seeking an opportunity to bridge theory and practice in the context of international arbitration (covering both commercial and investment arbitration). Unlike many courses in international arbitration (including the fall term course in International Commercial Arbitration), the seminar will not deal primarily with arbitration in the courts or with the judicial role in enforcing arbitration agreements or entertaining challenges to awards. Rather, the focus of the seminar is on the conduct of all major aspects of international arbitration itself.
The seminar proceeds through a series of major phases of an international arbitration in sequence, dealing with: drafting the arbitration agreement; arbitrator disclosures and challenges; anti-suit and anti-arbitration injunctions; threshold issues in arbitration (the preliminary hearing, conditions precedent, applicable law, confidentiality); multi-party and class arbitration; arbitrating with states and state entities; interim relief; discovery; conduct of the hearing (witness testimony, use of experts); arbitrator deliberations and the award; post-award relief (correction, modification, supplementation); and procedural reform and innovation.
In preparation for each week's session, students will read a combination of (a) academic and professional literature and (b) instruments and documents from practice.
At the initial seminar session, students will be asked to select a topic from a list proposed by the instructors. Although there may be 3 or 4 students assigned to each topic, each student will prepare and submit his or her seminar paper on the topic independently. However, at the final seminar session, students working on the same topic will make a joint presentation of that topic to the seminar.
Student evaluation will be based on (1) seminar participation, (2) the individual seminar paper, and to a lesser extent (3) the group presentation.
It is desirable for students in the seminar to have had some prior exposure to international arbitration. Participation in the fall term course in International Commercial Arbitration certainly qualifies, but so too does previous classroom study of the subject, whether in the U.S. or in another jurisdiction, or significant exposure in practice..