LLM International Business and Commercial Law

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
International Commercial Arbitration and Mediation Law

Course unit fact file
Unit code LAWS77082
Credit rating 30
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


This hybrid course will offer the students a theoretical and practical overview of Alternative Disputes Resolution (ADR) mechanisms. More specifically, it will introduce students to the concept of international arbitration, its development, types of arbitration, arbitration organisations, and the advantages and disadvantages of commercial arbitration. The course will also examine the arbitration tribunal and the award. It will also consider arbitration’s relationships to other forms of ADR (mainly mediation) as well as its to litigation. Accordingly, the following issues will be covered in the course:

- Applicable laws;

- Referral to arbitration and the arbitration agreement;

- Conduct of the arbitration - powers, duties and jurisdiction;

- The hearing and the roles of the national courts;

- The award;

- Challenging the award;

- Enforcing the award (the New York Convention);

- Basic principles of investment treaty arbitration;

- A detailed view of Mediation and some other ADR’s.


  • To provide an understanding of the system of international arbitration and mediation law and its role in the operation of the commercial legal structures of the globalised economy;
  • To foster an understanding and appreciation of the various forms of international arbitration and mediation;
  • To develop students’ capacity for critical analysis and logical thinking and to encourage independent learning and reflection;
  • To develop a general range of transferable and generic skills in problem-solving and reasoning, and written and oral communication.

This unit also recognises that typically businesspersons prefer to resolve their commercial disputes with the privacy and expertise of arbitration rather than by a judge in the possible light of publicity. It also recognises that international commercial disputes raise particular legal and practical issues which make them more complex than mere local disputes. The course unit looks at commercial arbitration from both a practical and a legal perspective and examines both the issues which arise in any commercial arbitration and those which are peculiar to international disputes.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Understand the evolution and application of international arbitration and mediation to reflect on the forces shaping it;
  • Understand the implications of the fostering of good commercial relations by the systems of international arbitration and mediation;
  • Develop a proper knowledge of the principles, concepts and rules of arbitration law and mediation;
  • Research collate and evaluate primary and secondary materials on the subject.

Teaching and learning methods

  • 30 hours of lectures (including 2 hours of revision lectures)
  • 4 seminars (4 hours)
  • 10 hours of weekly direction and feedback drop-in session ( course-Specific office hours).

All materials, detailed lecture handouts and seminar handouts as well as other forms of guidance will be posted on Blackboard.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 100%

Feedback methods

An open book take home written examination. 
  • Formative feedback is made available in this course unit through class presentations and peer assessment (oral feedback will also be available in the unit’s seminars).
  • An optional un-assessed course work will be set and written feedback provided on the answers.
  • An outline of issues for the exam question will be published after the final assessment on Blackboard.

Recommended reading

The principal textbooks are the following:

•      Law and practice of International Commercial Arbitration, By Redfern & Hunter, 6th ed. Oxford University Press: 2015


•      The Principle and Practices of International Commercial Arbitration, Margaret L. Moses, 3rd ed. Cambridge University Press: 2017

More detailed will be announced at the first lecture and to be made available on Blackboard beforehand.

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 300

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Nicolette Butler Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Important additional notes & Information

An open book take home written examination. 

1. The course is available to All LLM students

2. For students wanting to undertake a dissertation on this subject, certain topics/titles will be suggested as suitable themes. Students could also submit their own titles. Approval will mainly be based on the course unit director’s assessment of whether the proposed research is manageable given the time constraints and the length of the research project. Approval will not be based on a subjective or objective assessment of an individual student’s abilities or understanding.

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