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International Dispute Resolution


Admission requirements

No formal admission requirements apply. However, the knowledge gained and the achievement levels of the course Civil Procedure (Burgerlijk Procesrecht) are necessary in order to be able to successfully complete the course International Dispute Resolution.


International business lawyers inevitably deal with international disputes. In most international commercial contracts, disputes are referred to arbitration. Disputes resulting from other contracts and from non-contractual matters are often subjected to the jurisdiction of state courts. What are the differences between arbitration and state court litigation? Why does it matter whether a dispute is submitted to an arbitral tribunal or to a state court? What are the legal and practical implications of a choice between these dispute resolution mechanisms? What rules apply to international commercial arbitration and what rules apply, in the EU context, to state court litigation? These issues will be dealt with during the course. Moreover, a number of complications that may arise in the context of cross border state court litigation and international commercial arbitration will be addressed. International lawyers have to deal with these complications and should anticipate and be able to manage them. In the first part of the course, international arbitration will be taught. In the second part, international state court litigation will be taught. Particularly during the last week of the course, the interaction between the two mechanisms will be explored and the lessons learned during the first and second parts will be implemented by discussing cases, trying to find the best dispute resolution mechanism for each case. The course is taught in English.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course

By the end of the course you should be able:

  • to explain the main differences between state court litigation and international commercial arbitration;

  • to distinguish the relevant scope and purpose of the Brussels Recast Regulation and the Lugano II Convention;

  • to apply the Brussels Recast Regulation and the Lugano II Convention to IDR-cases (mainly in respect of tort and contract law) in order to establish the competent court or courts;

  • to understand the scope and relevance of the Rome I and Rome II Regulations in respect of IDR-cases;

  • to understand the scope and relevance of the Convention of 30 June 2005 on Choice of Court Agreements in respect of IDR-cases;

  • to explain and apply the New York Convention on the enforcement of arbitral awards, the UNCITRAL Model Law, the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules and the ICC Arbitration Rules;

  • to describe generally the concept of investment arbitration;

  • to recognise specific roles and tasks of the main players in a given international dispute including the roles and tasks of arbitrators and judges, lawyers and other representatives of the parties;

  • to analyse cases involving an international commercial dispute so as to choose the most suitable dispute resolution mechanism and venue for that case;

  • to understand and be able to choose the available dispute resolution mechanisms for tactical purposes; and

  • to provide clear and concise written advice on dispute resolution in international commercial disputes.


The timetable of this course can be found in uSis.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) seminars: 2 per week (i.e. 11 seminars in total)

  • Names of instructors: M.C. van Leyenhorst, A.F. Collignon and W.J.L. de Clerck

  • Required preparation by students: reading literature, case-law

  • A student may miss up to one seminar

Assessment method

Examination form(s)
Written exam (70%) plus two written assignments per student (together: 30%)

  • The written assignments cannot be retaken.

  • The 30% score earned on the written assignments will remain valid for the re-sit.

  • If a student has not passed the course by the end of the academic year, a partial grade for the written exam or the assignments will no longer be valid.

Submission procedures
To be announced in course book and/or on Blackboard.

Areas to be tested within the exam
The examination syllabus consists of the required reading (literature) for the course, the course information guide and the subjects taught in the lectures, the seminars and all other instructions which are part of the course.


More information on this course is offered in Blackboard.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials


  • Nigel Blackaby and Constantine Partasides with Alan Redfern and Martin Hunter, Redfern and Hunter on International Arbitration, 6th edition, September 2015 (student version or full version). Available electronically on (available through Leiden library account).

  • Geert van Calster, European Private International Law, 2nd Revised edition, March 2016 (ISBN13: 9781849466721). Available in paperback.

Course information guide:
The course information guide will be published on Blackboard.

Not applicable.

Recommended course materials
Recommended course materials will be published on Blackboard.


Students have to register for courses and exams through uSis.
Exchange students have priority and will be registered for the course first. Any remaining seats will be available for students from Leiden University and other Dutch Universities.

Contact information

  • Co-ordinator: mr. M.C. van Leyenhorst

  • Work address: Civil Procedural Law

  • Contact information:

  • Telephone number: 071 527 7400

  • Email:


  • Institute: Privaatrecht

  • Department: Civil Procedural Law

  • Room number secretary: B2.43

  • Opening hours front desk: 9.00 – 13.30

  • Telephone number secretary: 071 527 7400

  • Email:


Belangstellenden die deze cursus in het kader van contractonderwijs willen volgen (met tentamen), kunnen meer informatie vinden over kosten, inschrijving, voorwaarden, etc. op de website van Juridisch PAO. Let op dat er wel voldaan moet worden aan de toegangseisen.