LAW4658 - International litigation and arbitration - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.




Dr Normann Witzleb

Not offered in 2017


This unit explores the main legal issues involved in the resolution of legal disputes between private (that is, non-state) parties in an international setting. In that respect, we will consider in detail the two major systems of dispute resolution: litigation before national courts and arbitration before private arbitral tribunals. We will analyze and compare the legal issues that may arise at the different stages of an international dispute in each of these systems and on that basis discuss the policy issues involved in each context and the considerations that will become relevant for parties when deciding which kind of dispute resolution system to choose. Particular emphasis will be on (1) the initiation of the proceedings (jurisdiction and forum selection clauses, arbitration agreements and arbitrability), (2) the conducting of the proceedings (service of process, taking of evidence) and (3) the recognition and enforcement of the respective decisions (court judgments and arbitral awards).


On completion of this unit, a student should be able to:

  1. demonstrate a solid understanding of the principles of international litigation and arbitration;
  2. analyze and apply the legal framework governing international litigation and arbitration;
  3. acquire understanding and sensibility for the parallels and differences between litigation before national courts on the one hand and commercial arbitration on the other;
  4. acquire understanding and sensitivity for the similarities and differences of the approaches and solutions adopted in different countries towards international litigation and arbitration (with a particular emphasis on Europe and the United States); engage in discussion about jurisdictional and policy issues relating to the these approaches and solutions.


Class participation: 10 %

Research paper (1,500 words): 30 %

Examination: 60 %

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


LAW1101 Introduction to Legal Reasoning, LAW1104 Research and Writing or an equivalent introductory course at another university.




LAW4652 Transitional Litigation

LAW4179 International Commercial Arbitration