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Gary Born’s International Arbitration: Law and Practice

Gary Born’s latest addition to the international arbitration literature, International Arbitration: Law and Practice, is a nice bookend to his magisterial two-volume work on the same subject. Rather than simply condense his 3,000 page tome into a 500-page summary, he has done something completely different: offer a concise, ready-reference, black-letter guide to international arbitration.

The text is brief and clear, offering a concise outline of the subject. But the book goes further, presenting charts, checklists, tables, statistics, and flowcharts. It is precisely the kind of book that my students would buy to prepare for my final exam on international arbitration. It is also the kind of book that practitioners would buy to pull off the shelf for quick answers to a 1,001 questions that present themselves in practice. If the quick answer from this book is not enough, the footnotes offer cross-citation to detailed commentary from his two-volume book on the subject. The aim of the book is to introduce “the key legal principles and customary practices in an accessible and straightforward manner, tailored to the needs of general practitioners, law students, and others seeking an introduction to the international arbitral process.”

If you want quick answers to common questions it’s all there. What are the bases for holding non-signatories to the arbitration agreement? There’s a quick checklist and a seven-page summary. What are the critical elements of every international arbitration agreement? Another check-list with short commentary. The entire discussion of evidence is less than fifteen pages. Grounds for refusing to recognize an award is less than twenty pages, and the entire subject of investor arbitration is less than thirty pages.

The closest competitor to this book is the student version of Redfern & Hunter on International Arbitration. But the Born book is two-thirds the size, and oriented toward black-letter law in lieu of greater commentary.

The price is right too, only $40 for the print version and $32 for the Kindle version. It will be a best-seller for this niche market.

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  • Catherine Rogers

    It is a rare occasion indeed when it can be said that Roger Alford has made a mistake, but in his post he omitted reference to what is arguably the most direct competitor of Gary Born’s new book: Principles and Practice of International Arbitration (Cambridge University Press) by Margaret Moses. It is now in its second edition (out since May) and is currently being translated into Arabic and Chinese. For years now, I have assigned it to my students and know that they uniformly find it an useful tool in working through the often dense and complex subject matter of the course.

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