Previous IA Lectures

2022: Third Parties and International Commercial Arbitration: Reframing the Debate 2021: Parallel proceedings in international arbitration: theoretical analysis and search for practical solutions 2020: A Response to DFAT’s Review of Australia’s Bilateral Investment Treaties 2019: Arbitration in Australia – Rising to the Challenge 2018: "The Need for Speed – Is International Arbitration Becoming Overly Fixated with Efficiency?” 2017: How worldly is it?” by The Hon Sir Bernard Eder2016: “International Arbitration and Independence – Off the Beaten Track” by Elliott Geisinger2015: “Dynamics, discretion and diversity - A recipe for unpredictability in international arbitration?” by Hilary Heilbron QC2014: “Commercial Courts and International Arbitration– Competitors or Partners?” by Michael Hwang SC2013: The authority of the arbitrator - its sources, limits and importance2012: The Impact of International Arbitration on the Rule of Law2011: Islamic influences on international arbitration2010: 仲裁 - Speaking your language? What is the language of resolution in the Asia-Pacific region?2009: The Day Before Tomorrow: Future Developments in International Arbitration2008: Inside Out: A User's View of International Arbitration2007: When Arbitrators Facilitate Settlement: Amiable Imposition or Actual Solution?2006: Enterprise v State: The New David and Goliath?2005: Litigate, Arbitrate, Mediate, Frustrate? Breaking the Dispute Deadlock2004: Apes, Neanderthals and Missing Links: Evolution in International Business Arbitration2003: East meets West: Tradition, Globalisation and the Future of Arbitration2002: Arbitration, Imagination and the Culture of Compromise: The Inaugural Clayton Utz International Arbitration Lecture

2012: The Impactof International Arbitration on the Rule of Law

About the lecture

The 11th year of the International Arbitration Lecture serieswas presented by David W. Rivkin. The lecture was entitled " TheImpact of International Arbitration on the Rule of Law".

Arbitration began as a means to resolve commercial disputes.From ancient Greece through to the 20th century, businesses sought afinal determination of their disputes. In the process, they created arule of law – enforcing contracts as they were written –and a lex mercatoria.

The certainty provided by this rule of law promoted the growthof commerce, international trade, created arbitration between statesand developed a new body of public international law.

David W. Rivkin examined the evolution of arbitration and itsrelevance in the 21st century. He addressed questions such as; Towhat extent does it still effectively promote trade? Does it provideadequate levels of certainty? What is the impact of the increasinguse of state to state arbitration? And will the creation of a newsupranational law that establishes standards for sovereign behaviourprovide greater certainty to modern-day merchants as they do businessworldwide?

Following the success of the previous year, the lecture wasstreamed live to invitees across the globe for colleagues and friendsthat could not attend the event in Sydney.

About the speaker

David W. Rivkin, Co-Chair of Debevoise & PlimptonLLP’s International Dispute Resolution Group, has more than 30years of experience handling international arbitrations throughoutthe world and before virtually every major arbitration institution.Subjects of these arbitrations have included long-term energyconcessions, investment treaties, joint venture agreements, insurancecoverage, construction contracts, distribution agreements andintellectual property, among others.

David is consistently ranked as one of the top internationaldispute resolution practitioners in the world in guides such asChambers Global and USA, IFLR Benchmark: Litigation, and The Legal500, among others. In 2011, the National Law Journal named him as oneof the “Most Influential Attorneys” in the United States.The Global Arbitration Review called a $750 million arbitration awardhe won for Hyundai Heavy Industries the Arbitration Win of 2010.

David holds many leading positions in internationalorganisations, including Secretary-General of the International BarAssociation; President of the North American Users’ Council ofthe LCIA; Vice Chair of the Arbitration Institute of the StockholmChamber of Commerce and a member of the Board of the SingaporeInternational Arbitration Centre; and a member of the Council of theAmerican Law Institute, for which he is also an Adviser to theRestatement of the Law of International Arbitration.

He has written three books and more than 30 articles oninternational arbitration and international litigation. He is on thepanels of many arbitration institutions and served as an arbitratorfor the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the 2002, 2004 and 2008Olympic Games.

Lecture speech

Video clips

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5



The impact of international arbitration on the rule of law.  

Prior to the 2012 lecture, Doug Jones, the head of Clayton Utz's International Arbitration group, and David W. Rivkin, Co-Chair of the International Dispute Resolution Group of Debevoise & Plimpton and Secretary-General of the International Bar Association, discuss the impact of international arbitration on the rule of law.  Watch their conversation in the video below.