Ad hoc Arbitration

Ad hoc arbitration refers to arbitration proceedings that are not conducted under the supervision or administration of an institution. The exact procedure of an ad hoc arbitration can be agreed by the parties. Very often agreements on ad hoc arbitration refer to the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules as the framework for the arbitral procedure.


Adjudication refers to an intermediate process for dispute resolution whereby the adjudicator (sole adjudicator or board of adjudicators, primarily in large construction projects) renders a decision on a contractual dispute within a limited time scale. The decision is temporarily binding (i.e., unless it is challenged by either one of the parties and referred to litigation or arbitration).

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a general term for dispute resolution mechanisms that provide alternatives to tradition litigation or arbitration. Typical ADR mechanisms include arbitration, mediation and adjudication.



Bifurcation is the separation of an ongoing arbitration into two or more parts, such as the division between jurisdictional and merits phases, or a merits phase and issues of quantum. In such instances, a tribunal will address particular issues in an effort to avoid time and cost.

Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT)

A Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) is an international agreement between two countries establishing terms and conditions for foreign direct investment by nationals of the other country. BITs typically comprise a number of guarantees for investors, including arbitration clauses as a means of recourse against violations of their rights.

For further resources on Bilateral Investment Treaties, visit UNCTAD's investment policy page and ICSID.


China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC)

The China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) is an arbitral institution based in China, with its headquarters in Beijing. It administers arbitral proceedings under its own set of arbitration rules, the CIETAC Arbitration Rules.

More information can be found on the CIETAC’s homepage.


Conciliation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). It is a process where a neutral third party, the conciliator, assists the Parties in resolving their dispute with a non-binding settlement proposal. Conciliation is similar to mediation, with the main distinguishing criterion typically being the intensity of the third party’s influence on the process.


Consolidation refers to the merger of several ongoing arbitrations into a single proceeding, subject to the similarity between the cases and the parties involved.

Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral (New York Convention)

The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards adopted on 10 June 1958 in New York (New York Convention) is one of the key instruments in international arbitration. Member-states are obliged to give effect to arbitration agreements and to recognize and enforce arbitral awards rendered outside the respective country’s territory, with limited exceptions. As of 30 January 2019, 159 countries are party to the New York Convention, facilitating the enforcement of arbitral awards on an almost world-wide scale.

The full text of the New York Convention and information on its status can be found on UNCITRAL’s homepage and many other sources on the web.

Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)

The Tribunal Arbitral du Sport (TAS), or Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was established by the International Olympic Committee in 1984. The CAS provides a procedural framework for sports-related disputes, related on the one hand, to disciplinary issues such as the eligibility of athletes to compete in the Olympic Games or matters pertaining to the positive drug tests of athletes, and on the other hand, to commercial transactions pertaining to the sports industry, such as the transfer of athletes or contracts on television rights. Its headquarters are in Lausanne, Switzerland.

More information can be found on its website.


DIFC - LCIA Arbitration Centre

Established as a joint venture in 2008 between the Dubai International Financial Centre and the London Court of International Arbitration, the DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre administers alternative dispute resolution services for local and foreign businesses primarily in the Middle East region. The DIFC’s jurisdiction has an up-to-date arbitration law based on the UNCITRAL Model Law (DIFC Law 1 of 2008).

For more information, please visit the DIFC-LCIA website here.


Emergency Arbitration

Within the last ten years, emergency arbitration has emerged as a mechanism to provide immediate enforceable relief, prior to a final arbitral resolution. It generally provides parties who have signed an appropriate arbitration agreement the ability to seek interim redress within a very short period of time, prior to commencing a standard arbitration.

Energy Charter Treaty

The Energy Charter Treaty is a multi-lateral treaty, providing a transnational framework for trade, transit and investments in energy. It also incorporates dispute settlement mechanisms for investor-state disputes, providing several options for recourse to arbitration.

For more information, please visit the homepage of the Treaty’s homepage.

Enforcement of Arbitral Awards

As arbitral tribunals lack the power to enforce their own decisions, enforcement of arbitral awards involves state court proceedings to some extent. With the widespread adoption of the New York Convention, arbitral awards are enforceable nearly world-wide.


Expropriation involves the taking of a foreign investment by a State government through the exercise of its sovereign powers, either for public purposes or otherwise. Over time, expropriation has evolved from specific or "direct" takings and now includes "indirect" expropriation.


Fast-Track Arbitration

The term fast-track arbitration, or expedited arbitration, is commonly used to describe arbitration proceedings that are conducted within specified time limits based on a party agreement. While such proceedings may entail substantial pressure on the parties, counsels and tribunal, they generally reduce the time taken from the initiation of the proceedings to the rendering of an award. Several arbitral institutions to offer specific rules for fast-track proceedings, which typically apply by virtue of an explicit agreement or the fulfillment of specific criteria (i.e., amount in controversy does not exceed a specific value).

Fork-in-the-Road Clause

Generally found in bilateral investment treaties (BITs), a claimant must decide between bringing its claims against its adversary either through the arbitration mechanisms provided in the treaty or local venues provided for in the relevant contract.


German Arbitration Institute (DIS)

The German Arbitration Institute, or the Deutsche Institution für Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit (DIS), is an arbitral institution that provides essential support and administrative assistance to proceedings under its own set of rules. It has offices in Bonn, Berlin and Munich.

More information is available on its website, with its procedural rules here.



Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC)

The Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) is a nonprofit dispute resolution institution based in Hong Kong, administering arbitration, mediation and adjudication proceedings.

For more information, please visit the HKIAC homepage.


Interim measures
Interim Measures

Under many arbitration laws and rules, tribunals have the power to issue interim measures on a temporary basis to safeguard the rights of a party until the dispute has been finally resolved. These orders are often used to preserve evidence or assets.

International Bar Association (IBA)

The International Bar Association (IBA), the leading organization for international lawyers, has published a series of guidelines and rules aimed at procedural issues in arbitration. The Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest in International Arbitration (IBA Guidelines) are a set of provisions addressing conflict of interest issues relating to arbitrator impartiality, independence and disclosure. Similarly, the Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration (IBA Rules) provide a procedural framework for users and address subjects such as document production, witnesses, inspections, and the general conduct of evidentiary hearings.

For more information, please visit the IBA website.

International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR)

The International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) is the international division of the American Arbitration Association (AAA), providing institutional dispute resolution services to businesses in matters involving cross-border transactions.

For more information, please visit the ICDR homepage.

International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)

The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) is an international institution established upon the World Bank’s initiative in 1966 under the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (ICSID Convention or Washington Convention). The Centre provides a permanent forum for the settlement of investor-State disputes, incorporating rules for conciliation as well as arbitration.

For further information, please visit ICSID's homepage.

International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is a global non-governmental institution seated in Paris, France, which focuses its activities on promoting international trade and commerce. It has established itself as one of the major providers of institutional arbitration, administering hundreds of arbitration proceedings annually under the ICC Rules of Arbitration.

For more information, please visit the ICC's homepage.


Lex Arbitri

The lex arbitri is the law of the place of arbitration, often considered to be the law governing the arbitration proceedings.

London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA)

The London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) is a leading international arbitral institution based in London. It administers arbitrations from all over the world under its own set of procedural rules.

Further information may be found on the LCIA homepage.



Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) where a neutral third party facilitates a non-binding negotiated agreement between disputing parties. Mediation is recognized as the most common form of ADR, with a rapid increase in cases within the last ten years.

Mediation-Arbitration (Med-Arb)

Mediation-Arbitration (Med-Arb) is a variation of a traditional arbitration. A typical Med-Arb procedure begins with mediation, however, if the parties are unable to reach a mediated settlement, then the mediator assumes the function of an arbitrator and renders a binding and final decision.

Multi-Tiered Dispute Resolution Clause (MDR clause)

A multi-tiered dispute resolution clause (MDR clause) provides for a dispute resolution mechanism entailing more than one method. Such mechanisms often start with the notification of a dispute, followed by some form of consensual resolution attempt and ultimately, if an amicable solution is not achieved, by arbitration or litigation.


OHADA Common Court of Justice and Arbitration

Established in 1998, the Common Court of Justice and Arbitration (CCJA) assumes the hybrid roles of arbitration institution, supreme court and advisory body to the seventeen member states of the Organization for the Harmonization in Africa of Business Law (OHADA). Its arbitration proceedings are governed either by its Rules of Arbitration, or by the OHAHA Uniform Act on Arbitration (UAA).

More information on the CCJA can be found on the OHADA homepage.

Ordre Public (Public Policy)

Ordre public or public policy is a legal set of principles that forms the critical basis of the fundamental operations of a given legal system. Many jurisdictions divide issues between procedural and substantive public policy. Under the New York Convention, an arbitral award violating the public policy of the country of enforcement can be rejected or set aside.


Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) is an intergovernmental organization providing services for the resolution of disputes involving various combinations of states, state entities, intergovernmental organizations, and private parties.

Further information can be found on the PCA homepage.


Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC)

The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) is a nonprofit arbitration organization based in Singapore, which administers arbitrations under its own rules of arbitration as well as under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. Since its inception in 1991, it has become an elite regional actor in the southeastern Pacific.

Additional information can be found at SIAC’s website.

Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC)

The Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC) is an arbitral institution based in Stockholm. It administers arbitration proceedings under the Stockholm Rules.

More information can be found on the SCC’s homepage.

Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution (SCAI)

The Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution (SCAI) is a nonprofit organization offering commercial mediation and arbitration services under their respective rules. The institution consists of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Basel, Berne, Geneva, Lausanne, Lugano, Neuchâtel and Zurich.

For more information, please visit the SCAI homepage.


UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules

The UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules are a set of procedural rules developed and published by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). Unlike arbitral institutions like the ICC or VIAC, UNCITRAL does not administer arbitration proceedings but instead provides rules of procedure that may be adopted by the parties to an arbitration agreement. They are the most widely used set of rules on arbitral procedure in ad hoc proceedings.

A revision of the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules became effective on 15 August 2010 and is available here.

UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (UNCITRAL Model Law)

Published in 1985 and amended in 2006, the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (Model Law) is designed to assist States in revising and modernizing their laws on arbitral procedure in a way that gives due consideration to the particular features and needs of international commercial arbitration. The Model Law has inspired a number of national law revisions in countries all over the world, including the Austrian arbitration law.

Further information about the Model Law can be found here.


Vienna International Arbitral Centre (VIAC)

The International Arbitral Centre of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (Vienna International Arbitral Centre or VIAC) is an arbitral institution based in Austria. It is a part of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and administers international arbitration proceedings under the Vienna Rules.

Further information can be found on the institution’s homepage.

Vienna Rules

The Rules of Arbitration and Conciliation of the International Arbitral Centre of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber are generally referred to as the Vienna Rules.

The Vienna Rules can be found on the VIAC homepage. For further information, see also the Commentary on the Vienna Rules and on International Arbitration in Austria.