UNITAR / PFT Online Course on

  Course Information - Introduction and Background
Justice dispensation system of a country plays a significant role in its progress and prosperity. If the delivery of justice in a country is reasonably quick, less expensive, involves less procedural formalities, devoid of technicalities, based on equity and justice and dependable, such countries enjoy reliability and better confidence of the international community. The courts or judicial forums established by the law of the land are sufficient to render justice. However, this seldom happens, particularly when a country is in the developing stage. In the developing countries generally the justice dispensation system is a low priority item. The reason being that is a non revenue-generating branch of the State. Thus, out of the scarce resources of the country, the share of judicial system is often meager. The absence of the will of the State to devote the attention it deserves, insufficiency of resources and inadequacy of well trained man power have serious impact on it. The result is that the cases take unduly long time and the process becomes very expensive and unreliable, before they could be decided. In spite of these difficulties, when a dispute arises between two person belonging to the same country, they generally go to the courts established by law in that country. This has been the most common method employed by the citizens of a country for resolution of a dispute with the fellow citizens.

When a dispute arises between two persons belonging to two different countries, the difficulty arises. One option available to the parties is to go to the domestic courts of the country of either party for the resolution of that dispute. However, this approach may have its own problems. The first is the jurisdiction of the courts. The laws relating to jurisdiction of a country are not made keeping in view the transnational disputes. The other is dissimilarity in the legal system of two countries. The problem acquires serious dimensions if the country of one party follows common law system and the country of the other party follows civil law system. The next is the choice of law applicable to the agreement and the consequential dispute between the parties. Availability of assets of the defendant in that jurisdiction is also a consideration for the purpose. Apart from these difficulties, the above mentioned conventional difficulties like undue delay in the dispensation of justice, complicated procedural formalities, transportation of entire evidence and witnesses from one country to the other country, high cost of litigation, judicial imperfection, etc. cannot be ignored. In view of these and other difficulties, the alternative dispute resolution methods are becoming more common and popular. They help in generation of confidence of the international investing community. They feel that if a dispute arises, they need not depend on the judicial system of that country and can resort to the alternative dispute resolution methods.

In the “Introductory Course” the advantages and basic requirement of the system of alternative dispute resolution, the bodies existing within a country and international institutions rendering meaningful service in the resolution of international commercial disputes, essential elements and drafting of an arbitration clause and the formation of an “arbitral tribunal were dealt with.

This Foundation course is being organized to highlight the pleadings required to be placed before an arbitral tribunal by the parties (particularly the claims and defence), the method and procedure before the tribunal, the process and kinds of awards a tribunal can deliver. The existing international Conventions and Protocols for enforcement of foreign awards and the problems encountered in actual enforcement of foreign awards will also be discussed.

Registration Status: OPEN
Deadline for Enrollment: when slots are full
Course Dates: February 7 to March 25, 2011
Estimated learning time: Minimum of 35 hours
Format: Online/Internet-based (asynchronous)
Language of Instruction: English
Fees: US $ 400/-
Helpline: UNITAR Geneva (Course Administration and Technical Questions)
  Overall Objectives and Scope
The objectives of this course are to inform the participants about the procedure to be followed before arbitral tribunals that are engaged in the resolution of disputes, particularly international disputes and the different kinds of awards available under various alternative dispute resolution systems, such as, award on jurisdiction, award on validity of arbitration agreement, interim award, award on agreed terms, final award, correctional award, interpretative award, additional award, etc.

When an award is delivered in one country and the assets of the other party are available in another count4ry, the enforcement of the award in that country and the recovery of money is one of the major problems. International business and legal community is conscious of this problem and efforts have been made to resolve it. For the purpose, various countries at Geneva signed a Protocol on Arbitration Clause and convention on the Execution of Foreign Awards on 24th September 1923. This did not provide the desired results. Hence, on 10th June 1958 Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards was signed. Thus, the objectives of this course include a discussion of the provisions of this Convention and the difficulties that have been felt in its implementation.


  Intended Audience

This Course will be aimed at :

(i) senior and middle-level government lawyers and other members of the Attorney General's office responsible for drafting and negotiating or in any way involved in the preparation or approval of international agreements and resolution of disputes thereunder;

(ii) officials of the Ministry of Justice and of such other Ministries who are in any way concerned with or are responsible for international agreements and ADR methods;

(iii) senior and middle level officials of State-Owned enterprises who enter into international commercial agreements or such domestic agreements which provide for the resolution of domestic and international disputes;

(iv) representatives from Universities, particularly from Law and Economic faculties, who may be interested in the study of national and international alternative dispute resolution methods;

(v) members of the Judiciary who may be interested in effective alternative dispute resolution methods and enforcement of domestic and foreign awards;

(vi) representatives of trade and industry who enter into international and domestic agreements, which provide for the resolution of disputes through alternative means. They should also know as how to enforce an award received in their favour in a foreign country ;

It should be noted that this workshop is intended to invite a multidisciplinary mix of persons - including decision makers, policy makers, economists, negotiators, businessmen, legal researchers, judges, as well as lawyers.

  Expected Outcomes

It is expected that after successfully completing this course, the participants would be able to understand and appreciate major intricacies of international commercial arbitrations. They would be able to effectively and meaningfully participate in the process of arbitration for the resolution of international commercial disputes.

If a participant has to enforce an award in a country other than the country in which the award has been delivered by the arbitral tribunal, he will get a foreknowledge of the essential steps and safeguards which should be followed and the problems likely to be encountered, so that advance precaution in respect thereof may be taken.


This course is designed as an online course in which participants will be primarily responsible for their own learning. Each lesson will consist of the following components:

1) Basic Reading Materials (Compulsory Reading Materials): these materials are intended to educate the participants about the basic concepts and principles applicable to the subject-matter of the lesson. It will include, where appropriate, sample materials. These materials will constitute the required reading materials for the lesson

2) Advanced Reading Materials (Optional Reading Materials): this will consist of optional reading materials for participants who wish to learn more about the topic than what is covered in the lesson.

3) External Links: This will refer the interested participants to additional books, articles, documents, and websites that deal with the issues raised in the lesson.

4) Glossary: A glossary of terms tailored to the online course will be provided to the participants and act as a learning support during the entire course.

5) Quizzes: At the end of each lesson there will be a set of quizzes for participants to answer. These quizzes are designed to test the participant's understanding of the lesson. Participants are required to pass each quiz and obtain at least 80% or more passing grade in order to be eligible for a certificate. All quizzes will need to be taken online.

6) Community Discussion Board: There will be a community discussion board available on which participants can post questions or comments that can be seen by the instructor and the other participants. This discussion board will be moderated by the course director and UNITAR. Structured discussion strings will be posted on a weekly basis.

All successful participants will be eligible to a certificate after completion of this online course.

Course Outline

Module1: Introduction

Module 2: Arbitration Proceedings

Module 3: Arbitration Proceedings (continued)

Module 4 : Making of Award

Module 5: Challenge or Vacation of Award

Module 6: Recognition and Enforcement of Award


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