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.

Jus Mundi
Jus Mundi's database includes more than 4,500 multilateral and bilateral treaties governing international arbitration, international trade, and many other topics.  To search or browse, select "Treaties' from the main menu bar.  After the page refreshes, use the filters on the right to narrow by type of instrument, status, signatory, date of adoption or date of entry into force before or after searching by keyword.

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

Print Resources