Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler

Program director

  • Professor of Law at the University of Geneva


Professor, Geneva University Law School; Director, Geneva LLM in International Dispute Settlement (MIDS), joint program of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and Geneva University; Co-Director, Center for International Dispute Settlement (CIDS); Partner, Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, Geneva.

Practices in international commercial and investment arbitration. Acted in over 200 international arbitrations, mainly as arbitrator. Appears on numerous institutional arbitration panels (including ICC, ICSID, AAA, LCIA, SIAC, CIETAC) and conducts arbitrations under the rules of all major institutions. Chaired the ad hoc Division at the Olympic Games from 1996 until 2000. Regularly ranked among the top arbitrators worldwide. 

Currently teaches classes on international commercial and investment arbitration. Current research projects on "Conflicts of norms in international arbitration". Past research projects include "Fundamental and legal theoretical aspects of international arbitration", "Arbitration & ... economics, philosophy, sociology", "Transnational  arbitration in China", and multidisciplinary research on online dispute resolution (IT and law).

Honorary President of the Swiss Arbitration Association and President from 2001 to 2005. Member of ICCA's Governing Board, HKIAC Advisory Board, President of FIAA Board; former member of ICC Court, LCIA Court, AAA Board. Member of Swiss delegation to UNCITRAL Working Group II and Commission on transparency in investment arbitration (2010-2013).

Numerous publications in the area of her specialization (full list available on Selected recent writings and speeches include:

  • International Arbitration: Law and Practice in Switzerland, Oxford University Press, 2015 (co-author Antonio Rigozzi), pp. 577
  • Multiple proceedings in international arbitration: Plague or blessing? The Asian Arbitration Lecture, Singapore 2015 (available on
  • The transnationalization of national contract law by the international arbitrator, in Liber Amicorum Jean-Michel Jacquet, Lexis Nexis, Paris, 2013, pp. 107-120
  • Commercial arbitration before international courts and tribunals - Reviewing abusive conduct of domestic courts, Annual Arbitration Lecture, 2011, American University, Arbitration International, 2013, pp. 153-173
  • Diplomatic protection and investment arbitration: Dangers from non-disputing state party submissions? In Boisson de Chazournes/Kohen/Viñuales (Eds.), Diplomatic and Judicial Means of Dispute Settlement, Martinus Nijhoff, 2013, pp. 305-324
  • Interpretive Powers of the NAFTA Free Trade Commission - Necessary Safety Valve or Infringement of the Rule of Law? In IAI Series on International Arbitration nº 7, Fifteen Years of NAFTA Chapter 11 Arbitration, Frédéric Bachand and Emmanuel Gaillard (Eds.), Juris Publishing New York, 2011, pp. 175-194
  • Soft Law in International Arbitration - Codification and Normativity, Journal of International Dispute Settlement (JIDS) 2010, pp. 283-299
  • Is Consistency a Myth? In IAI Series on International Arbitration nº 5, Precedent in International Arbitration, Yas Banifatemi (Ed.), Juris Publishing, 2008, pp. 137-147
  • Arbitral Precedent: Dream, Necessity, or Excuse?, Freshfields Lecture 2006, Arbitration International 2007, p. 357