Skip to Main Content

Private International Law


Secondary Sources on International Arbitration

Most major arbitration treatises are available through the Kluwer Arbitration database or JURIS Arbitration Law database. The UCLA law library does not subscribe to JURIS Arbitration Law but does subscribe to Kluwer Arbitration:

The preeminent treatises on international arbitration are the treatises published by Redfern and Hunter and Gary Born:

The following sources may also be useful:

The law library carries a wide variety of additional books on international arbitration, including books on specific types of arbitration (e.g. investor-state dispute settlement, trademarks); arbitration in specific regions (e.g. Asia, Latin America); and specific issues within arbitration (e.g. damages, arbitrator ethics, evidence).

For a full list of books on international arbitration available from the UCLA library system, check the library catalog for books listed under the subject of International Commercial Arbitration:

The library also subscribes to law reviews and journals on international arbitration

To locate additional law review articles, try Lexis' and Westlaw's Law Review categories and the following standard legal article databases:

Searching Arbitration Decisions

When researching arbitration decisions, it is important to keep in mind two key differences from cases:

  • Arbitration decisions typically carry persuasive weight only. Although citations to prior arbitration decisions are commonly used to persuade future arbitration panels, arbitrators are not required to follow prior arbitration decisions in the same way that judges must follow prior court decisions.
  • Many arbitration decisions are not available as full text and many arbitration decisions are not publicly available at all. One primary appeal of arbitration for parties is that the parties may almost always keep the arbitration completely confidential if they so choose. Although a few arbitration decisions are posted as full text, many are available only as abstracts, and most never see the light of day. This also has implications for searching arbitration decisions. Unless you know that a database reliably includes the full text of arbitration decisions, you should use broad keywords that are likely to appear in abstracts and avoid the type of complex terms and connectors searches you might perform for cases on Lexis and Westlaw.

When searching for arbitration decisions try the following sources:

IBA Rules

As its name implies, the International Bar Association is a bar association, with a membership that includes attorneys, law firms, and national bar associations.

It produces many non-binding guidelines on the ethics and procedure of international arbitration and litigation, available on its website:

A handful of guides have been written on the IBA rules:

UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration

As its name suggests, the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration is model legislation that national and state legislatures can choose to pass as law. It is not a treaty but, rather, is similar in concept to other model laws, such as the Uniform Commerical Code and the Model Penal Code, that are intended to provide one consistent, carefully considered text for legislatures to enact. The Model Law was originally drafted by UNCITRAL in 1985 and amended in 2006. 

Text, status, background, and information on interpreting the Model Law is available on the UNCITRAL website:

The UNCITRAL website provides the following key materials:

New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards

The New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards is a treaty that requires those countries that have consented to be bound by it to recognize and enforce foreign arbitral awards. The full text of the treaty is available from many sources but the treaty's official depository is the United Nations. As the official depository, the United Nations is responsible for publishing the official text of the treaty in its United Nations Treaty Series (U.N.T.S.).

Under Bluebook rule 21.4.5, the treaty is cited to both U.N.T.S. and a U.S. treaty source in the format Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, June 10, 1958, 21 U.S.T. 2517, 330 U.N.T.S. 3 (1958).

Outside of U.S. publications and law reviews, the best citation is to U.N.T.S. 

The following sources provide the most authoritative text of the treaty:

As the treaty's depository, the United Nations is also responsible for officially tracking the status of the treaty, including which countries have signed the treaty, consented to be bound by the treaty, and made any reservations or declarations limiting their compliance with the treaty.

The United Nations provides two interfaces for accessing status information:

UNCITRAL has collaborated with other organizations to make extensive information about the New York Convention available online:

The following tools are especially helpful for researching the New York Convention:

Miscellaneous UN Treaties Related to Arbitration