Conference at the Institute for Transnational Arbitration

Susan Franck has sent along this conference announcement for what looks like a really wonderful opportunity.  The Institute for Transnational Arbitration – which is one of the leading institutes for the education and promotion of international arbitration in the world – is holding its First Annual Winter Forum this February in San Francisco.

As Susan writes, “This is not just another arbitration conference.  Rather it is the first of its kind that seeks to build upon ITA’s academic tradition and bring together practitioners and academics, executives and government officials, at both the junior and senior levels to foster a collaborative exchange on international arbitration.  The first half of the forum will be targeted towards a group of works-in-progress, followed by a keynote address from George Bermann, who is in leading the update of the Restatement of International Arbitration.  The afternoon session we will be a Tylney-Hall style interactive discussion.”

The element that is likely of particular interest to our blog readers is the Works-in-Progress.  Conference organizers are working towards a wide distribution of the attached Call for Papers to reach a large and diverse pool of potential thinkers – wherever they are in the world, whatever their level of seniority, and whatever their professional dimension.

The conference itself will be at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins in San Francisco during February 2-3, 2012.  Proposals are due (and there are instructions in the full Call below) by October 15.


1st Annual Winter Forum

San Francisco, California

InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco

February 2-3, 2012


In collaboration with the Academic Council, the Executive Committee and the Young Arbitrators Initiative of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA) are proud to announce the creation of a new annual Winter Forum. Building on the Academic Council’s tradition of biennial exploration of scholarly papers and the format of the Friday Forum in Dallas, the Winter Forum will provide a unique opportunity for academic and scholarly debate – with a practical twist – for topical issues in international arbitration.

The first half of the Winter Forum will showcase several works-in-progress, including presentations by authors, commentary by internationally recognized academics and practitioners, and interactive discussions among all participants. Our objective is to integrate the unique insights of academics and practitioners, encourage collaboration, and promote the evolution of international arbitration during a time of global transition. After lunch and a keynote address by Professor George A. Bermann of Columbia Law School, the Winter Forum will conclude with a Tylney-Hall-style discussion forum.

Possible Topics for Works-In-Progress

In connection with this initiative, we now initiate a call for works-in-progress. Keeping in mind ITA’s objective to provide “leading educational and professional activities for legal counsel, arbitrators, business executives, government officials, academics and other professionals through programs that examine, critique and seek to improve the practice and study of international arbitration and provide opportunities to enhance the arbitration community,” we encourage authors to consider a broad variety of topics. Possibilities might include exploration of:

· Emerging issues of substantive law in international commercial arbitration or international investment law;

· Consideration of procedural issues, including issues related to arbitrator selection and challenge, evidentiary considerations, preliminary measures, concurrent proceedings, and enforcement and review;

· The relationship between international commercial arbitration and investment law, as well as between these two pillars and other branches of law, such as intellectual property and environmental law;

· The recent jurisprudence of national courts related to international arbitration, either domestic or comparative, and the implications for basic concepts of jurisdiction, arbitrator competence and independence;

· Innovative research methodologies for the exploration and consideration of international arbitration and transnational dispute resolution;

· The interactions among scholars, practitioners, government officials and civil society groups active in international arbitration;

· The consideration of international arbitration’s commercial impact, including implications of cost, the net value of arbitration and the opportunities to build sustainable dispute resolution into international business and investment.

We encourage works-in-progress that are from both established and junior scholars and practitioners. The Winter Forum is intended to integrate the scholarly insights and perspectives of both academics and practitioners. Previous explorations of scholarly works-in-progress during Academic Council events have included presentations by international arbitration luminaries such as David Caron (“The Design and Operation of International Courts and Tribunals: A Theory of Bounded Strategic Space and Positional Logics”), José Alvarez (“The Once and Future Investment Regime”) and Jan Kleinheisterkamp (“The Impact of Internationally Mandatory Laws on the Enforceability of Arbitration Agreements”). We anticipate that the works-in-progress and commentaries presented in the Winter Forum will follow this tradition of excellence, and we intend to reserve one presentation for work by a junior scholar or practitioner.

Paper Submission and Selection

All proposals must be submitted by October 15, 2011, via email to in accordance with the following conventions. First, proposals should be made in a Word document that is no longer than 1,000 words. Second, your cover email should indicate your affiliated institution, your contact details and whether your paper has been submitted or accepted for publication elsewhere. In evaluating proposals, please note that priority will be given to unpublished papers and works-in-progress. Every paper proposal will be reviewed on a blind basis by at least two members of the Conference Committee (identified below).

We anticipate announcing the selected papers by November 15, 2011. Authors selected for the Winter Forum must be prepared to circulate a substantially complete draft of their paper no later than Wednesday, January 18, 2012.

While ITA cannot reimburse all travel expenses, selected authors will receive a waiver of the conference fee for the Winter Forum and two nights’ accommodation at a comfortable hotel in the Bay Area.

Paper Publication

Papers and commentary from previous scholarly events from the Academic Council have been published in the World Arbitration and Mediation Review (WAMR). While not required, publication in WAMR is encouraged for presentations at the January Forum.


Please submit enquiries to either of the ITA Winter Forum Co-Chairs, Susan Franck ( or Leah Harhay (

2012 ITA Winter Forum Selection Committee

Co-Chairs: Susan Franck and Leah Harhay

Committee Members:

· José Alvarez, Professor of Law, New York University School of Law

· Andrea Bjorklund, Professor of Law, University of California-Davis School of Law

· Gary Born, Partner, Wilmer Hale LLP

· Jean Kalicki, Partner, Arnold & Porter LLP

· Abby Cohen Smutny, Partner, White & Case LLP

· Jarrod Wong, Associate Professor, McGeorge School of Law

With the administrative support of David Winn, Director of the ITA

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