This guide is intended to provide researchers with assistance in understanding the international arbitration process and to provide assistance in locating arbitral awards and agreements. It focuses primarily on commercial arbitration and investor-State dispute settlement. Commercial arbitration refers broadly to the settlement of disputes under international commercial contracts, while investor-State refers to resolution of disputes between a foreign investor and a host State.
Parties to a contract may specify that disputes be handled through arbitration, rather than litigation. There are a number of institution that can administer disputes, but parties may also opt for an ad hoc arbitration. The second part of this guide identifies a number of arbitration institutions that either administer proceedings, or have created widely followed arbitral rules.
Finding arbitral awards involves reviewing a number of sources, both open-access and subscription-based. This is because many arbitral proceedings are confidential, and remain so even after their conclusion. The final box contains a few reporters, subscriptions databases, and open-access research tools for located awards. Often, treaties and procedural decisions will be made available in addition to rewards.
The following are a few of the major arbitral institutions in the area of international commercial arbitration. Information on procedural rules, arbitrators, and other aspects of the arbitration process can be found on each institution's website.