International Law in Action: the Arbitration of International Disputes

Coursera International Law in Action: the Arbitration of International Disputes

Leiden University
5 hours/week
4 weeks
Paid Certificate Available
Course Link
‘The Arbitration of International Disputes’ is the third course of Leiden University’s series on International Law in Action. The first course covered generalities on the international courts and tribunals in The Hague, while the second course provided an insider's perspective into the work of international criminal courts and tribunals. This third course explores the major aspects of international arbitration as one of the most common method of international dispute settlement . Through this course you will gain an in-depth understanding of the various facets of international arbitration through the analysis of its role as a mechanism of dispute settlement, its institutions, the fields of law it is applicable to, and, of course, its most famous awards.

The main question we will answer together during this course is "Can international arbitration contribute to the creation of a peaceful world through the settlement of disputes between States and between States and non-State actors?" In order to do so, we will learn the basic historical concepts or arbitration, as well as everything there is to know about the Permanent Court of Arbitration, based in The Hague. We will then dive into the role of international arbitration in settling disputes relating to the Law of the Sea, with a particular insight into the landmark South China Sea Arbitration. For an entire module, we will focus on investment arbitration, its principles and the procedure of the ICSID, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. We will conclude the course with a module on the interplay between state immunity and enforcement of arbitral awards. This is brought to light through the Yukos Arbitration which is a perfect illustration of the topic.

This course offers you an opportunity to gain a better insight into international arbitration, its role and the current issues relating to it. You will gain in-depth knowledge of the principles and rules of arbitration. You will explore the topic through concrete examples and the most prominent arbitrations. You will also grasp the notion of international arbitration navigating between law and politics. International arbitration and The Hague go hand in hand: several key arbitration institutes are located in The Hague and important disputes were settled here through arbitration. The Hague is, so to speak, ‘the place to be for international arbitration’, especially when we are dealing with arbitration between States, or arbitration of investment disputes between foreign investors and States.

Join us for the course and become an expert on international arbitration!

This course is free to join and to participate in. There is the possibility to get a verified certificate for the course, which is a paid option. If you want a certificate, but are unable to pay for it, you can request financial aid via Coursera.

Welcome to the course
Welcome ! Before you start we invite you to first go through our introduction module and introduce yourself in the forum to meet your fellow learners. If you encounter any difficulties while studying, please let us know in the forum. For technical difficulties or questions regarding the course certificate, you can always contact the Coursera Learner Center. Good luck & we hope you will enjoy this course.

The History and General Principles of International Arbitration
Have you read all the tips for studying online? Are you ready to delve into the world of dispute settlement through international arbitration? This week, you will learn the history of international arbitration and the general principles of international arbitration. We will also discuss the work of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and its role as administrator of arbitrations.

Arbitration and the Law of the Sea
This week will explore the role of international arbitration in settling disputes between States under the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS). Why do States choose arbitration to settle their disputes regarding the law of the sea? To answer this question, we will study how arbitration fits into the complex dispute settlement architecture of UNCLOS, and discuss the option given to States parties to choose either arbitration or settlement through adjudication before the International Court of Justice or the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. We will conclude this week with an analysis of the famous dispute between the Philippines and China in relation to the parties' maritime entitlements in the South China Sea. Through this case, you will learn how arbitration navigates between law and politics.

Investment Arbitration
Do you remember, from the first week, the different types of parties to a dispute? What makes an arbitration 'mixed'? This week, we will focus on investment treaty arbitration, the most notable example of arbitration between States and non-State actors. I will introduce you to the main principles of investment treaty arbitration, and the procedure at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

State Immunity and the Enforcement & Validity of International Arbitral Decision
What happens after an arbitral award has been rendered? Can an award be invalidated? How are arbitral awards enforced? This week, we will see how a ‘valid’ decision can be rendered and what the parties who are dissatisfied with a decision can or cannot do. More specifically, you will learn about the aftermath of the Yukos Arbitration, an investment arbitration that perfectly illustrates the interplay between state immunity and the enforcement of arbitral awards.

Taught by
Eric De Brabandere and Giulia Pinzauti
First release
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