by the Arbitration Association

A new age for the International Commercial Arbitration Law (ICAL) LL.M. Programme at the Stockholm University

March 12, 2019

Year 2018 has been remarkable for the International Commercial Arbitration Law LL.M. Programme offered at the Stockholm University. Not only did it celebrate its 15th anniversary, but it has also undergone some important changes. The long-term Director of the Programme – the remarkable Patricia Shaughnessy has stepped down and new teaching staff has been hired. The curriculum has been restructured, the number of seminars intensified and a few new themes added. What remained unchanged, however, is the focus on the students, care to foster their progress and to develop the programme according to their needs.  

The learning experience at the ICAL Programme is strongly based on active participation and group work. Through engaged interaction in a diverse environment the students gain not only knowledge, but also skills valuable in both academy and practice. When we say “diverse”, we really mean it. For instance, this year ICAL students come from 17 different countries from all over the world and have various background and level of experience. What brings everybody together is the genuine interest in arbitration. 




ICAL students engaged in discussion over confidentiality v. transparency of arbitration


The ICAL Programme lasts for two semesters. The autumn semester consists of an intensive course in international commercial arbitration, which comprises seminars, case analysis, academic writing, group work and oral presentations. Apart from arbitration, the students also learn about the basics of international sales and contract law.  

The students put theory into practice through different tasks during the course, but it is the extensive mock arbitration organized at the end of the autumn semester, which provides a unique opportunity to get a firsthand insight into the whole of the arbitration process. During the mock, students write briefs, cross-examine witnesses and render an arbitral award under the supervision of arbitration experts from Stockholm law firms. 


ICAL students during a mock hearing at Roschier law firm.


The spring semester consists of a course in advanced international commercial arbitration and a Master’s thesis project. The ICAL LL.M. provides rigorous academic training, encourages students to think critically and independently. 

Moreover, seminars with distinguished guest speakers, visits to law firms, the SCC and a number of high profile arbitration conferences are all integral part of the ICAL experience. 

This year’s Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Team is comprised solely of ICAL students.

The program is highly competitive and receives hundreds of applicants each year for the approximately twenty-five places.The application period for the 2019/2020 has already ended. 

For more on the ICAL Programme see

Daria Kozlowska-Rautiainen

Doctor of Laws, Senior Lecturer in International Procedural Law with specialization in International Commercial Arbitration Law, Stockholm University