International Arbitration


International (Commercial) Arbitration is a method of dispute resolution whereby the parties agree to have their disputes resolved by one or more private individuals, i.e., the arbitrators rather than by a court of law.  It requires the agreement of the parties, which is usually given via an arbitration clause that is inserted into the contract or agreement. The decision of the arbitrator(s) is final and binding on the parties on the basis of their initial agreement to arbitrate.


International (Commercial) Arbitration is frequently used in commercial, interstate, and foreign investment disputes. This research guide covers arbitration between states and international arbitration between private parties. For international investment arbitration see the Research Guide on Foreign Direct Investment. In 1958 the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards was adopted in New York. It is also called the New York Convention. The New York Convention ensures that the states party to the Convention recognize and enforce international arbitration agreements and foreign arbitral awards issued in other contracting states. The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) adopted in 1985 the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration. This provides a model for states to incorporate in their domestic law. UNCITRAL also published Arbitration Rules which parties can be used by parties before or after a dispute arises, to govern the conduct of arbitration.

This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research on International (Commercial) Arbitration. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library's subject heading (keyword) International Arbitration and International Commercial Arbitration are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.

Librarian’s choice
Bantekas, I., Ortolani, P., Ali, S., Gómez, M.A. and Polkinghorne, M., UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration: a commentary Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2020.
This book provides a comprehensive commentary on the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Arbitration. Combining both theory and practice, it is written by leading academics and practitioners from Europe, Asia and the Americas to ensure the book has a balanced international coverage.
Bibliography manually

Sources of international law



UN Declarations and Resolutions

Soft law

Reference works

Selected books and articles

Periodicals, serial publications