LLAW6099 International commercial arbitration

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW6099 /JDOC6099
Course name: International Commercial Arbitration
Programme offered under: LLM Programme / JD Programme
Semester: June
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: No
Credit point value: 9 credits / 6 credits
Cap on student numbers: 40

1.2 Course description

International commercial arbitration is well established as the preferred binding mechanism for resolving cross-border commercial disputes. It has seen particularly marked growth and acceptance in the last 20-30 years, including in the Asia Pacific region. The law and practice of international commercial arbitration, while scarcely regulated, has evolved into a highly specialized craft based on international best practices. This course will consider the international and domestic legal framework for international commercial arbitration, as well as the broader regime including international arbitration rules, international arbitration institutions and organizations and international arbitration practices. However, a key focus will be the inside workings of international arbitrations, revealing the sometimes obscure practices of the discipline. The main topics covered include the making and enforcement of arbitration agreements, establishment of and powers of arbitration tribunals, jurisdictional issues, applicable law (both procedural and substantive), arbitration procedure and evidence, interim and final remedies and rendering and enforcement of arbitration awards (including challenges and appeals). The course will be taught with case examples principally from the Asia Pacific region, and extensive examples from the practices of well known arbitral institutions, such as the ICC International Court of Arbitration, and of arbitrators sitting under the auspices of the ICC.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Simon Greenberg fransje.dejong-kok@cliffordchance.com N/A By email or before class


2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Be familiar with a critical analysis of the form and nature of conflicts and disputes in international commercial transactions, the increasing complexity of such conflicts and disputes in a globalizing economy, and the risks inherent in such international transactions (including economic, financial, monetary, political, and legal risks);

CLO 2 Be competent in critically analysing the use of arbitration to resolve international business and commercial disputes and its use and application in the HKSAR and in the Asian region generally. Students should be familiar with various issues concerning the arbitral process including jurisdiction, legal framework and enforceability, arbitral process and procedures, and confidentiality;

CLO 3 Be familiar with a contextual analysis of the process and procedures of international commercial arbitration through class readings, seminar discussions, and videotape analysis. The theoretical material will be combined with practical examples to give students a better understanding of the unique characteristics of international commercial arbitration; and

CLO 4 Be familiar with the ways in which the various benefits of international commercial arbitration and other hybrid dispute resolution methods can be combined to provide an effective, dynamic and integrated system of dispute resolution in international business and commerce.

2.2 LLM Programme Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

PLO A On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to demonstrate a solid understanding of the body of legal knowledge and the capacity to conduct research on, critically analyse and evaluate legal principles, at a level required to meet the standards and expectations of the legal profession and the community at large.

PLO B On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to apply their legal knowledge and research skills to practical situations or theoretical challenges, and utilise their comparative understanding of the law and its political, social and cultural contexts to provide original and creative insights to legal problems.

PLO C On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to apply the knowledge, lawyering skills and legal reasoning to real and novel situations in life, with a view to resolving issues, problems and disputes within the legal parameters.

PLO D On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to demonstrate the ability to present effectively legal arguments in the professional context, as well as conveying and explaining the law effectively to lay clients and members of the larger community.

PLO E On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to appreciate the underlying moral values of the law and ethics in the profession and the legal system in the broad social, economic, political and cultural contexts: justice, the Rule of Law, and protection of rights and liberties which form the fabrics of a civilised society, and the importance of upholding these values by the legal community.

PLO F On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to develop a strong awareness of social issues and conditions, and utilise analytical abilities and rhetorical advocacy to provide leadership for the betterment of the human community.

2.3 Programme Learning Outcomes to be achieved in this course

CLO 1  ✓  ✓
CLO 2  ✓  ✓  ✓
CLO 3  ✓  ✓  ✓

3.1 Assessment Summary

Assessment task Due date Weighting Feedback method* Course learning outcomes
Take home exam TBC 100% 1, 5 1, 2, 3, 4
*Feedback method (to be determined by course teacher)
1 A general course report to be disseminated through Moodle
2 Individual feedback to be disseminated by email / through Moodle
3 Individual review meeting upon appointment
4 Group review meeting
5 In-class verbal feedback

3.2 Assessment Detail

100% take-home exam advising on practical problems based on factual scenarios - this 48-hour exam will be released via Moodle. All students are required to submit the exam answer via Moodle. Mark will be deducted for late submission at the rate of 5 percentage points per day or part thereof and no late submission will be accepted after 10 days.

3.3 Grading Criteria

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/grading-criteria/


4.1 Learning Activity Plan

Seminar: 3-hour seminars in an intensive mode in June 2020
Private study time: 9.5 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks

Remarks: the normative student study load per credit unit is 25 ± 5 hours (ie. 150 ± 30 hours for a 6-credit course), which includes all learning activities and experiences within and outside of classroom, and any assessment task and examinations and associated preparations.

4.2 Details of Learning Activities

  • Introduction and overview of international commercial arbitration
  • Brief overview of the ICC Court and ICC arbitration
  • Exercise on introductory issues
  • Legal framework of international arbitration
  • Concept and importance of the seat of arbitration
  • Exercise on legal framework
  • Arbitration agreements
  • Multi party arbitration & new multi party provisions under 2012 ICC Rules
  • Drafting arbitration agreements
  • Exercise on arbitration agreements
  • Arbitral tribunal: appointment, challenge, removal, duties, etc,
  • Decide mock ICC challenges
  • Applicable Law
  • Jurisdiction
  • Arbitration Procedure
  • Arbitral awards
  • ICSID arbitration
  • Challenge and enforcement


5.1 Resources

Reading materials: Reading materials are posted on Moodle
Core reading list: TBA
Recommended reading list: TBA

5.2 Links

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/learning-resources/

By the publication of the course profile online, the Faculty deems the student as having been notified of the course requirements.