Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

International Commercial Arbitration Research Guide

This guide introduces researchers to primary and secondary sources for international commercial arbitration research.

Treaties & International Agreements

Two types of treaties are relevant to international commercial arbitration research. First, there are treaties that govern the underlying commercial transactions from which disputes arise, such as the 1980 Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG). 

Second, there are treaties that govern the enforcement of arbitral awards, most notably the 1958 Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, usually referred to as the New York Convention.

Listed below are electronic and print resources for locating treaties related to international commercial arbitration.  For additional information on how to locate treaties, consult the Law Library's guide to Treaty Research.

Electronic Resources

Online Guide to the New York Convention
The United Nations Conference on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) has partnered with Shearman & Sterling, LLP,  and Columbia Law School to create this interactive guide.  Click on the "Convention" tab to download the full text in its six authentic languages.  Additional content includes:

  • an interactive map of jurisdictions that have ratified the convention;
  • a searchable database of documents related to the drafting history (travaux préparatoires) of the convention;
  • a searchable database of national case law on the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards; and
  • a searchable bibliography of books and articles about the convention.

UNCITRAL is a key player in the drafting of treaties to facilitate the harmonization of commercial law.  Its website is an excellent source of information about treaties and model laws pertaining to the following subjects, among others: 

Treaty texts are available for download in PDF format.  UNCITRAL also provides explanatory notes for each treaty and information about its ratification status.

Kluwer Arbitration (Georgetown Law Only)
The Kluwer Arbitration database includes multinational and regional treaties dealing with international trade and international commercial arbitration.  To access them, click on the white triangle to the left of the search box and select "Conventions" as the Content Type.

Print Resources