This new spring term offering co-taught by Professor George Bermann and Viren Mascarenhas is designed to meet the needs of students seeking an opportunity to bridge theory and practice in the context of international commercial arbitration. Unlike many courses in international arbitration (including the fall term course in Transnational Litigation and 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 international commercial arbitration itself.
The seminar proceeds through a series of major phases of international commercial 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 much lesser extent (3) the group presentation.
It is desirable for students in the seminar to have had prior study of international commercial arbitration, either through the fall term course in Transnational Litigation and Arbitration or other previous classroom study of the subject.