International Commercial Arbitration Research Guide

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

Electronic Resources for Arbitral Awards & Court Decisions

Search Tips

The resources described below provide electronic access to arbitral awards and/or court decisions related to international commercial arbitration.  Bear in mind that all of these resources are selective, not comprehensive, in their coverage.  Therefore, you may need to consult multiple resources in order to find what you are seeking.

Search Tips for Arbitral Awards:  If the award you are seeking was issued in a proceeding administered by the International Court of Arbitration of the ICC and you know the ICC case number, start with the ICC Dispute Resolution Library.  For awards issued in proceedings administered by other institutions (or in ad hoc arbitrations), bear in mind that most of the electronic resources described below allow you to filter by institution, by arbitration rules, by date, and by other criteria before or after searching by keyword.  Take advantage of these filters to narrow your search.

Search Tips for Court Decisions:  If you are seeking court decisions that interpret the New York Convention, start with Kluwer Arbitration's New York Convention Tool or the free New York Convention Case Law database.  If you are seeking court decisions applying the Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, use the CISG Database, CISG Online or the CLOUT database, all of which are described below.

Subscription Databases

ICC Dispute Resolution Library (ICC DLR)
This International Chamber of Commerce database includes extracts from selected arbitral awards issued in proceedings administered by the ICC's International Court of Arbitration from 1990.  These extracts are published in the ICC Dispute Resolution Bulletin and are arranged by ICC case number.  Descriptions of the parties are provided, but their names are omitted.  Coverage is selective, not comprehensive

Note:  ICC DLR content is now hosted on the Jus Mundi platform.  If you know the ICC case number as a starting point, use the "Explore the Resources" menu on the ICC DLR homepage to select either Awards or Procedural Decisions as the content type.  After the page refreshes and you are redirected to the Jus Mundi platform, search for the case number.  If you have a citation to a summary of an award published in the ICC Dispute Resolution Bulletin, select See Full List of Bulletins as the content type.  After the page refreshes, browse by year and volume number.

Jus Mundi
Jus Mundi offers the broadest coverage of arbitral awards issued in international commercial disputes between private parties -- more than 18,000 in total.  To browse or search by keyword, select "Cases" from the main menu.  After the page refreshes, use the filters to narrow by type of case ("Commercial Arbitration").  Apply additional filters, if desired, or enter search terms in the search box at the top of the page.

If the parties have consented to disclosure, Jus Mundi usually provides a link to the full text of the arbitral award in its original language.  If not, Jus Mundi provides as much information as it can (party names, nature of the dispute, applicable law and arbitration rules, etc.). 

Kluwer Arbitration
Kluwer Arbitration provides selective coverage of arbitral awards and court decisions on matters of law pertaining to international commercial arbitration, including arbitrability, validity, annulment, and enforcement.  It also offers a separate tool that can be used to search or browse for court decisions concerning the enforcement of awards under the New York Convention.

  • Arbitral Awards & Court Decisions
    Searching:  Open the search filters menu by clicking on the link on the left side of the search box.  Then select "Awards" or "Court Decisions" as the Content Type.  Use the remaining filters below to limit your search by court, by arbitral institution (organization), by party name or by time period, if desired.  Enter keywords in the search box at the top.  Browsing:  From the browsing menu below the search box, select "Awards."  Then filter by case type ("commercial") and apply additional filters, if desired.  Alternatively, select "Court Decisions" from the browsing menu.  Then filter by jurisdiction and by court. 
  • New York Convention Decisions Search Tool
    To access this tool, begin by selecting "Court Decisions" from the browsing menu on the homepage below the search box.  After the page refreshes, scroll down and click on the link labeled "New York Convention Tool."    Enter keywords in the search box to locate court decisions that have interpreted the New York Convention.  Use the filters to limit searches by topic, by article of the New York Convention (provisions) or by jurisdiction.  Note:  Court decisions retrieved by the tool are limited to those that have been published in Yearbook:  Commercial Arbitration.

Transnational Dispute Management (TDM)
To access arbitral awards and court decisions, click on the "Legal and Regulatory Docs" tab on the main menu.  On the following page, click on the "Search" button.  Then scroll down to access the Advanced Search template.  Select "Cases" as the Category. Searches may limited by country and by year.

Westlaw offers the following resources:  

  • International Arbitration Awards
    This database has arbitral decisions awards issued under the rules of several major arbitral institutions, including the ICC, the LCIA, and the PCA.  Coverage is selective, and the dates of coverage vary by arbitral institution. The database also incudes decisions and awards issued in investor-state disputes and in certain types of trade disputes.
  • International Arbitration Cases
    This database of court decisions is limited to the following jurisdictions: the European Union, Hong Kong, the U.K., and the U.S.  To search by party name, open the Advanced Search template (link to the right of the basic search box) and enter the party name(s) in the Title field.

Free Electronic Resources

New York Convention Case Law Database
This searchable database of cases that apply and interpret the New York Convention is provided by UNCITRAL, in partnership with Shearman & Sterling, LLP, and Columbia Law School.  Use the basic search box to search by keyword and filter the results by year, language, jurisdiction, and convention article.  Use the Advanced Search template to search by title (caption), docket number, and party name.  For most cases, an English summary is provided.  The full text of the opinion in its original language can be viewed in your browser or downloaded in PDF format.

CISG (Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods) Database
Pace Law School maintains this searchable database of cases from multiple jurisdictions that interpret and apply the CISG.  It contains more than 10,000 case abstracts (summaries) and more than 3,000 full-text opinions.  The database also includes a much smaller number of decisions issued by arbitral tribunals. 

  • The database is free to access, but you must must register and create an account a free account.  You must be logged in to your account in order to run searches and download content.
  • The search template for cae law recognizes Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT).  Searches may be limited by jurisdiction and/or by CISG article number.
  • The annotated texts of CISG articles provide convenient links to relevant legislative (drafting) history doucments, as well as links to secondary sources that explain and interpret each article.

CISG Online
This free resource, maintained by the Faculty of Law at the University of Basel, offers a searchable database of more than 5,000 court decisions (from 69 jurisdictions) and more than 800 arbitral decisions that interpret and apply the CISG.  Links to the full texts of decisions in their original language are provided.  The search template allow you to apply multiple filters (jurisdiction, tribunal, party name, category of goods, CISG provision cited, etc.).  No registration required.

CLOUT (Case Law on UNCITRAL Texts) Database
The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) maintains this searchable database of cases that interpret and apply treaties and model laws drafted by UNCITRAL.  Court decisions constitute the majority of the content, but some arbitral decisions also are included.  Only abstracts (summaries) of the court decisions and arbitral awards are provided, not the full texts.  The abstracts are available in all six of the U.N.'s official languages.  For additional information about the database, consult this Fact Sheet (PDF) or this more detailed User Guide (PDF).