Rezensionen juristischer Literatur

International Commercial Arbitration

Balthasar (ed.), International Commercial Arbitration, 2021, C.H.Beck-Hart-Nomos


A review about:

Abbildung von Balthasar | International Commercial Arbitration | 2. Auflage | 2021 | beck-shop.de

Stephan Balthasar (ed.)

International Commercial Arbitration

International Conventions, Country Reports and Comparative Analysis

A Handbook

Second Edition

Munich-Oxford-Baden-Baden: C.H.Beck – Hart – Nomos, 2021, 905 p., 220,oo Euro incl. VAT

ISBN 978-3-406-74383-2 (Beck)

ISBN 978-1-5099-4872- 7 (Hart Publishing)

ISBN 978-3-8487-7862-1 (Nomos)


We are living in a world which is more and more characterised by globalised trade and commerce, surely with well known social restrictions, while also posing more and more aspects of climate protection. In any case, more and more such negotiations are taking place via electronic platforms in view of COVID19. COVID19 has had a significant impact on international trade law, even extending to contract practice.

On the other hand national judicial services in such cases are deteriorating, with exemptions and great differences from State to State. Without any doubts, for more than 50 years of arbitration has become a central dispute resolution mechanism of choice in crossborder commercial transactions. Most of all trade – agreements exclude Jurisdiction by State – as far as possible – in favour of international arbitration. ICC – Courts are a good example for this and they are doing very fine work. These Arbitration Courts facilitate transnational enforceability of awards far beyond the enforceability of state court judgements. This is one of the reasons why there are a lack of decisions in international Trade Law by State Courts more and more.

This Handbook provides an overview on the global framework of international commercial arbitration, in particular the New York Convention, the UNCITRAL Model Law, and international investment treaties. The latter chapter is very interesting because little public information is available about these procedures.

The Handbook begins with a profound introduction to the functions of international arbitration in commercial law. Part 2 first deals with an overview of the New York Conventions, with many practical tips. Part 3 contains a – in this form – unique overview of these arbitration proceedings in various states. The following states are considered: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, China, England and Wales, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, The Netherlands, Russian Federation, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States of America. Part III gives a comprehensive insight into international arbitration laws of countries covering over 60% of the global economy. The respective presentations deal with national peculiarities and national arbitration rules and procedures by evaluating all available information.

The new edition includes numerous references to recent case law, material and legislative reform as well as topical developments in areas such as arbitrators‘ jurisdiction, the conduct of arbitral proceedings and the judicial control of arbitral awards.

This Handbook is used by judges, counsel and academics alike. Reviewers praised the first edition as a „key tool both for academia and practice“ (Kruis, (2016) 34 ASA Bull. 791) that „deserves a place … near the writing desk of every lawyer practising in the field of international arbitration“ (Triebel, (2017) 34 J. Int’l Arb. 107 (110)).

There is a clear focus on the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (“New York Convention“) of 10 June 1958, entering into force one year after. This is the major instrument of international Arbitration. Meanwhile the NY Convention has been ratified by 147 states, including all States of the western world and the worlds leading Trade – States. Since 1959 the NY Conventions is labelled the Magna Charta of international arbitration and has become the main model for other rules comparable to this Concention.

Just to say something about the History: The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards – better known as “New York Convention” -, was adopted by a United Nations diplomatic conference on 10 June 1958. The Convention entered into force on 7 June 1959. Since that more and more international trade agreements choose this arbitration rules as legal binding for all partners to the contract. Although is it not the only model of such rules for arbitration worldwide, because there are some other international conventions, the New York Convention is by far the most important and works as an example for some other conventions, so there is every need to know these rules if one works with arbitration.

All courts of any contracting state are required “to give effect to an agreement to arbitrate when seized of an action in a matter covered by an arbitration agreement and also to recognize and enforce awards made in other States, subject to specific limited exceptions” (UNCITRAL).

The New York Convention contains of 16 articles. This very interesting new commentary of this Convention has a clear structure.  Article-by-article the reader will be guided to the issue he or she is engaged with. The new commentary adopts the civil law commentary format, so it is neither a case book nor an anthology of essays. The Convention is very well anotated article by article, so the reader will find the needed informations very quickly. Of course, all judgements under the rules of this arbitration and the scholarly writings about it are evaluated in this clear and precise handbook. The reader can find a detailled overview about the jurisdiction concerning this Convention in the “Table of Cases” at the end of ths edition.

If one needs a precise and compact information about the International Commerce Arbitration, one can find it here in this excellent handbook. It will once again strongly influence the international discussion.

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