When this website launched in 2012, relatively little information about international arbitration was freely available online. The goal of this website was to provide access to genuinely useful international arbitration information and free online international arbitration resources, making information about international arbitration more readily available for businesses, lawyers, in-house counsel, government officials, students and academics alike. In addition to empowering arbitration end-users to play a more active role with respect to their cases, should they wish to do so, it was hoped that some of these tools would be of genuine use.
1. Should International Arbitration Be Used To Resolve A Dispute?
Even in the presence of an agreement containing an arbitration clause, negotiations or international mediation may be worth considering unless it is clear that the opposing party is unwilling to negotiate an end to a dispute on fair terms or in good faith. While arbitration will result in a final and binding judgement, like any legal dispute a ruling on the matter will not be instant and, on average, an international arbitration takes approximately 18 months from the filing of a case until the rendering of an arbitration award for a commercial arbitration (investment arbitrations take roughly twice as long). In addition to providing an overview of international arbitration, we maintain an international arbitration blog and access to information concerning upcoming international arbitration conferences, which may assist in determining whether international arbitration is right for resolving your legal dispute. You may also estimate the potential duration of an international arbitration based on a number of variables.
2. Analyzing International Arbitration Agreements
The international arbitration agreement must be reviewed in detail to ensure that the arbitration agreement was properly drafted and is sufficient to establish jurisdiction for your dispute prior to initiating a case. If the arbitration clause was improperly drafted, the arbitration clause could be deemed to be “pathological” and may not validly permit the parties to resolve their dispute via international arbitration. To avoid this, nearly all leading arbitral institutions provide model arbitration clauses. To select an appropriate international arbitration institution to oversee the resolution of potential disputes, we also provide an overview of the many international arbitration institutions and courts that may be used to settle international arbitration disputes. In addition, we provide copies of model fast-track arbitration clauses, which may be appropriate to consider including as dispute resolution clauses for relatively small contracts with an international partner, where ensuring a rapid and inexpensive outcome in the event of a dispute is a priority. If an international arbitration clause is not present in the underlying contract, a submission agreement (an arbitration agreement that is agreed upon after a dispute has arisen) may be considered, but this can be difficult to obtain since parties rarely are cooperative once a dispute has arisen.
3. Determining the Cost of International Arbitration
After a dispute has arisen, it is of course relevant to determine the cost of resolving a given dispute via international arbitration. For clients who lack the means to pay for an international arbitration case, we also provide a list of third-party funders, who may be contacted, alone or by legal counsel, to ensure that the funding necessary for a case is at hand. We also provide clients with guidelines on the many means that are available to reduce the overall cost of international arbitration.
4. Selecting Legal Counsel for an International Arbitration
It is then important to select international arbitration counsel with prior experience in successfully resolving international arbitration disputes. The procedural rules of arbitration are quite different to those of domestic litigation, so lawyers versed in international arbitration are highly recommended.
5. Selecting the Right International Arbitrator
Once lawyers have been selected, it is critical for a party to select the right international arbitrator for a given legal dispute. All arbitrators are not equal, and some take consistent positions with respect to legal issues, so it is important to spend time determining who should be picked. We have therefore provided a variety of online tools to find international arbitrators who are the best fit for a given case and provide advice on how to select them. It is very difficult to challenge an arbitrator once they are appointed, no matter how questionable their rulings, so it is important to vet each arbitrator thoroughly at the time of their nomination. Type their name in the arbitration search engine, and you should also find a significant amount of relevant information about any arbitrator who was nominated.
6. The Merits: Researching International Arbitration Law and Doctrine
To ensure a strong case, it is important to research international arbitration law in detail to ensure that no legal claim or defense is overlooked, both before and after initiating a legal procedure. A claim should be thoroughly vetted, in terms of jurisdiction, the merits and damages. To this end, we have created the international arbitration search engine, which searches 67 online international arbitration resources simultaneously, scouring all international arbitration-related information available on the basis of relevance, date or the type of arbitration.
As each country has unique arbitration laws that apply within its own borders, we therefore provide a significant number of the world’s international arbitration laws as well. Clients at times seem confused with respect to the procedural jargon used by international arbitration lawyers, so we have also provided an online international arbitration dictionary listing a number of commonly used terms. For investment arbitrations, there is also access to investment treaties , which can be searched on the basis of nationalities and other criteria via a database maintained by the UNCTAD.
In order to ensure that a party respects the arbitrator’s or the arbitration court’s procedural instructions, we provide access to online tools that allow parties to calculate on the basis of time and to estimate when an arbitral award will be rendered.
Finally, we provide model Requests for Arbitration and model Answers to Requests for Arbitration under a variety of arbitration rules, provided by the international arbitration boutique Aceris Law for others’ use.
7. Enforcing or Annulling Arbitral Awards
Unlike court judgements, arbitral awards cannot be appealed. They can, however, be annulled in limited circumstances or require enforcement if the losing party does not willingly pay. Domestic arbitration laws of the seat of arbitration determine the procedural rules that apply for enforcing an award or attempting to annul it and may be examined.