The Anatomy of an International Arbitration Lawyer - Chapter 19 - Reflections on International Arbitration
Many law school courses on international arbitration taught, and still teach, international arbitration through the lens of how national courts treat issues related to international arbitration. They address issues such as the jurisdiction of tribunals, arbitrability and the enforcement of arbitral awards. That is not surprising given that the study of law is often case-based, and court decisions concerning international arbitration were historically the only cases that were available. Similarly, theories of international arbitration often seek to define international arbitration in relation to its extrinsic elements that give it legitimacy, such as domestic arbitration laws and international conventions.
The study and practice of international arbitration remains concerned, at least in part, with how it is treated by external actors, such as courts, and where it finds its legitimacy so that its outcomes are accepted and enforceable. But the vocation of international arbitration is primarily defined not by its extrinsic treatment but by its intrinsic character (though the former obviously impacts the latter). International arbitration is therefore best understood as a body of procedural rules and norms.
The goal of international arbitration is to establish a procedure that achieves fair and efficient outcomes in resolving international disputes (which in itself contributes to the legitimacy of international arbitration as a system). International arbitration lawyers are often involved in the design, conduct and study of such a procedure.