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Fall 2022

5221 International Commercial Arbitration - DIMITROFF/RUSSELL- 15867

Professor(s): Sashe Dimitroff (ADJUNCT)
William Russell (ADJUNCT)

Credits: 2

Course Areas: International Law 
Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Time: 5:30p-7:30p  TH  Location: 207 

Course Outline: Winston Churchill said that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the rest. For international commercial transactions, international arbitration is the worst form of dispute resolution, except for all the rest. Supported by an international treaty signed by more than 140 nations, international arbitration has become the prevailing method of resolving international commercial disputes. And international transactions have become increasingly common in the global economy,the daily volume of international trade today across national borders exceeds the total volume of international trade through the end of the nineteenth century!

This is a comprehensive course covering all stages of the international arbitral process, from the drafting of the arbitration clause to the enforcement of the arbitral award. It should be of value both to students who plan to develop a transactional practice as well as those planning to become trial lawyers.

This will be a highly interactive course. In addition to relevant written material, the course will also feature videotaped scenes from mock arbitrations that the Institute for Transnational Arbitration generated at its Annual Arbitration Workshops. Consisting of mock scenarios, and performed by some of the world's leading international arbitrators and counsel, the videotapes vividly demonstrate the major phases of an international arbitration. Students will be assigned roles as counsel and as arbitrators and will either argue (in the case of counsel) or deliberate (in the case of arbitrators) various issues presented in the hypothetical scenarios.

The course will begin with preliminary considerations bearing on the selection of the international arbitral process. The course will then address the five stages of the international arbitral process:

Stage I. The making and enforcement of the arbitration agreement.

Stage II. The selection and appointment of the arbitral tribunal.

Stage III. Preliminary proceedings, including procedural orders and interim relief.

Stage IV. The evidentiary hearing on the merits.

Stage V. The making and enforcement of the arbitral award.

Ben H. Sheppard, Jr. is a Distinguished Lecturer and Director of the A.A. White Dispute Resolution Center. Prior to his retirement, he was a partner at Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. in Houston, where he practiced from 1969-2005, and was co-chair of the firm's international dispute resolution practice.

Course Syllabus: Syllabus

Course Notes: (Face-to-Face)  The UH registration system instruction mode for this course is listed in parenthesis. After student registration opens, there may be instruction mode changes to this course up through two weeks before the first day of classes for the term, but notice of such changes will be sent to then-registered students. For this instruction mode, instructors and students are expected to normally be physically present in the classroom. If the course has a final examination, it will be in a classroom requiring your physical presence. Other assessment, such as a mid term exam, may also be in a classroom. Whether this instructor will offer “remote presence” (starting a zoom meeting from the podium computer to enable student remote access on an occasional basis) for part or all of the semester is not known, but students should not rely on an expectation that remote presence will be available.



First Day Assignments:

Final Exam Schedule: 12/08 6-8pm  213    

This course will have:

Satisfies Senior Upper Level Writing Requirement: No

Experiential Course Type: No

Bar Course: No

DistanceEd ABA: No (no more than 1/3 of the class sessions have the instructor separated from all students via technology)

Pass-Fail Student Election: Available

Course Materials

No book required for this course

Professors will provide students with course material.