Just as arbitration is considered a desirable alternative to litigation for certain parties in U.S. domestic legal disputes, so to do parties in cross-border disputes resolve disputes via arbitration. In fact, for private parties arbitration may be particularly attractive as they may fear that litigation across borders is prohibitively expensive, that foreign courts and/or foreign law are not hospitable to their position, or that they may encounter difficulties enforcing a domestic judgment in a foreign court. Certain arbitral bodies hear disputes among states, or between states and private parties. Some entities hear disputes arising under particular international legal frameworks, and in recent decades arbitration between foreign investors and host states has grown significantly.
A unique challenge of identifying and locating relevant arbitral awards and related documents is that arbitral proceedings are, often by design, private in nature. As such, many arbitral awards are never published, and the outcome of an arbitration may only become public if one of the parties challenges some aspect of the award or proceeding in a domestic court.
This guide compiles resources available for just a handful of international arbitral or specialized dispute resolution bodies. There are also several commercial and free resources for arbitral materials that you may wish to explore: