I. Admissibility of Unlawfully Obtained Evidence in International Arbitration
II. Interface Between Data Protection Laws and International Arbitration
III. Arbitrating Environmental and Climate Change-Related Disputes

National Law University, Jodhpur

The National Law University, Jodhpur [“University”] is one of India’s top law schools. It was established in 1999 as part of a vision of excellence in legal education through innovative methods of learning. The diverse student body consists of some of the most meritorious students from the country, selected on the basis of a competitive entrance examination. The teaching faculty comprises both young and experienced academicians who have received their education at leading universities in India, and have contributed to India’s growing body of legal academia. Centre for Advanced Research and Training in Arbitration Law

The Centre for Advanced Research and Training in Arbitration Law [“CARTAL”] is established by the University to promote research and scholarship in specialized fields of arbitration law. It seeks to empower students with a theoretical and practical understanding of arbitration law by providing a platform for academicians, professionals and law students to interact and discuss contemporary issues in arbitration law. The mandate of CARTAL is achieved by the organization of workshops, certificate courses and guest lectures to facilitate the understanding of such issues. CARTAL also organises the reputed annual Gary B. Born Essay Competition on International Arbitration and the annual CARTAL Conference on International Arbitration. For further information, please see the report of the previous (fifth) edition of the conference, available here.

Indian Journal of Arbitration Law

The Indian Journal of Arbitration Law (“IJAL”) is a bi-annual, open-access journal, published by CARTAL. It is the leading Indian journal on arbitration law. While the ‘Indian’ in the name of the journal indicates the source of publication, the journal itself has consistently focussed on topics of global interest and relevance. IJAL has successfully published nine volumes and continues to host contributions from globally renowned experts. All the articles from the journal’s archives are available here. It is also available on Kluwer Arbitration, HeinOnline, WestLaw, and SCC Online. IJAL’s Board of Advisers comprises some of the preeminent authorities in international arbitration, including Prof. Gary B. Born, Mr. Alexis Mourre, Mr. Fali Sam Nariman, Prof. Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler, Prof. Loukas Mistelis, Prof. Martin Hunter, Prof. W. Michael Reisman, Prof. Laxmi Jambholkar, Mr. Pramod Nair, and Mr. S.K. Dholakia. For more information, please visit our website (ijal.in) or write to us at editors@ijal.in.


The Gary B. Born Essay Competition on International Arbitration encourages law students to explore forward-looking issues in international arbitration. In 2020, CARTAL successfully conducted the 5th edition of the Gary B. Born Essay Competition on International Arbitration. In keeping with previous years, CARTAL is organising the 6th Gary B. Born Essay Competition on International Arbitration [“Competition”] to encourage research and literature in international arbitration. The Competition has the gracious support and patronage of Prof. Gary B. Born, who is the chair of the International Arbitration Practice Group of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP. Prof. Born has participated as counsel in more than 675 international arbitrations, including four of the largest ICC arbitrations and several of the most significant ad hoc arbitrations in recent history. He is widely regarded as the world’s preeminent authority on international arbitration, having been ranked for more than 20 years as one of the world’s leading international arbitration advocates and the leading arbitration practitioner in London. The themes of the sixth edition of the competition aim to foster research on some of the contemporary developments in international arbitration, and are listed below:

  1. Admissibility of Unlawfully Obtained Evidence in International Arbitration
    In recent years, there has been a marked increase in parties seeking to adduce unlawfully obtained evidence in international arbitration. With the increased number of virtual hearings, this issue has been exacerbated by the emerging concerns of compromised cybersecurity and data leaks. This has necessitated discussion about the admissibility of unlawfully obtained evidence. The “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine posits that illegally obtained evidence is inadmissible as it is tainted. However, this doctrine is not universally applied in international arbitration, with tribunals exercising a wide latitude of discretion as to admissibility. International arbitral tribunals have approached this issue in many ways, attempting to balance the parties’ right to be heard and the need to deliver an award that does not contravene public policy. Recently, the addition of Article 9.3 to the IBA Rules on Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration (2020) has expressly affirmed that the tribunal may, at the request of a party or on its own motion, exclude evidence obtained illegally; reigniting academic discussion on this point. In light of jurisdictional differences in applying the doctrine and emerging concerns, participants may examine these and other issues, such as the relevance of the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine in international arbitration, the competing considerations that play a role in the tribunal’s decision, whether the nature of the illegality should play a role in the tribunal’s decision, and possible frameworks or standards that can be harmoniously applied.
  2. Interface Between Data Protection Laws and International Arbitration
    Most modern data protection laws protect personal information. There is vast exchange of information in international arbitration, including information that can allow for an individual to be identified. This leads to the need to address data protection issues within the unique context of international arbitration. An international arbitration involves multiple stakeholders such as arbitrators, arbitral institutions, third-party service providers, witnesses, counsels, parties and employees of the parties, all of whom may be governed by different data protection laws. Further, with the increase in the number of virtual arbitrations, there has also been an increase in the flow of data through electronic means, raising additional concerns. In light of this, the ICCA-IBA Joint Task Force on Data Protection in International Arbitration is set to release a revised version of the ICCA-IBA Roadmap to Data Protection in International Arbitration. Such a complex scenario presents wide ranging issues, which include determining the roles of various stakeholders (for example, if arbitrators are joint controllers), extra-territorial application of data protection laws, restriction on cross-border transfer of data affecting disclosures, the role of institutions in addressing data protection concerns in arbitrations, and the use of data protection laws as weapons to obstruct the arbitration proceedings. The participants may analyse such issues arising out of the interface between data protection laws and international arbitration.
  1. Arbitrating Environmental and Climate Change-Related Disputes
    The prospect of disputes in the arena of climate change being arbitrated has gained traction. This is exemplified by the 2019 report of the ICC Task Force on “Arbitration of Climate Change Related Disputes” which sought to define climate change related disputes. In the commercial world, climate change has assumed significant priority. Many industry sectors, such as the oil and gas sector, energy sector and construction sector, may have to deal with climate change-related disputes and increased regulatory issues. Contracts now include specific compliances and stipulations relating to climate change including, but not limited to, mitigation. Arbitration institutions also recognise the growth in this sector. Many recently negotiated bilateral investment treaties [“BITs”] such as the 2016 Morocco-Nigeria BIT and the 2019 Netherlands Model BIT also include environmental protections and obligations to conduct environmental impact assessments. These are likely to be considered by arbitral tribunals in the future, and will have an impact on the manner in which tribunals assess the challenged regulatory measures that have an environmental aspect to consider. The participants may examine the scope and relevance of this nascent field of environmental and climate change related arbitrations and opine on the potential of arbitration as a means for resolving environmental and climate change related disputes from both commercial and investment treaty perspective. Participants may analyse any aspect of the topic, identifying challenges and concerns or proposing frameworks within which such arbitration can be operationalised.


There is no registration fee for the competition.
The competition is open to all students enrolled in an undergraduate or post graduate programme in law (B.C.L., J.D., LL.B., LL.M. or their local equivalent) in any recognised university across the world. Students who have completed an above-mentioned programme or their equivalent in 2021, and post graduate students who are selected for and will be enrolled in any such programme for 2021-2022 are also eligible to participate.
To participate in the competition, interested students must e-mail a copy of their completed essays to editors@ijal.in by October 20, 2021, 23:59 hours (Indian Standard Time, GMT +5:30). Late submissions shall not be accepted under any circumstances. No part of the essay should contain any form of identification of the participant.


The essay must be submitted in Microsoft Word document format (.doc/.docx).
The essay must contain an abstract, not exceeding 250 words. It must indicate the theme.
A participant can submit an entry for one theme only. Co-authorship is not permitted.
The word limit is 4500–6500 words including footnotes.
The essay must be accompanied by a separate document containing the following information about the participant: (i) full name of the participant, (ii) theme chosen, (iii) participant’s current year of study and name of the degree pursued, (iv) name and full address of the participant’s university, (v) name and full postal address of the participant, (vi) phone number of the participant, and (vii) e-mail id of the participant.
The essay must be original and bona fide work of the participant.
The essay must be written in English.
Footnotes must follow the Bluebook system of citation (Harvard, 20th edition).
The essay should not be submitted for any other competition and/or for any other purposes.


By entering the competition, the participants agree to indemnify the organisers from and against all claims, suits and damages based on any claim of copyright infringement or plagiarism or unauthorised use.
The essay shall be considered to be property of the University, which reserves the right of publication of the same in any book, journal, or in any other manner as it may deem appropriate, without providing any royalty or compensation.
The results of the Competition shall be announced in the last week of November 2021 (tentatively). The organizers may, at their discretion, hold an award ceremony to release the results on the aforementioned date or otherwise, alone or in conjunction with another event.
Any further publication after declaration of results shall only be pursued after express permission from the organisers.
The winners of the Competition authorize the organizers to use their names and photos, if required, for the purpose of publicizing the Competition and its results.

First Prize − Cash prize of USD 250,

− Letter of Appreciation from Prof. Gary B. Born,
− Signed copy of a book authored by Prof. Born,
− An opportunity to be considered for publication in the next issue of IJAL.

Second Prize − Cash prize of USD 125,

− Letter of Appreciation from Prof. Gary B. Born,
− 6-month subscription to Born’s International Arbitration Lectures, and
− An opportunity to be considered for publication in the next issue of IJAL.

Third Prize − Cash prize of USD 75,

− Letter of Appreciation from Prof. Gary B. Born, and
− An opportunity to be considered for publication in the next issue of IJAL.



Prof. (Dr.) Poonam Saxena, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor


Dr. Nidhi Gupta, Associate Professor (Law)


Aditya Singh Chauhan

Ishrita Bagchi

Jehan Jhaveri

Isha Sen

Devika Sreekumar


Aryan Yashpal

Bhavyakirti Singh

Rishika Arya

Varsha Divakar


Aniketa Jain

Navya Bhandari

Rahul Lal
Rashmin Kansal

Rajiv Yadav

Rishabh Periwal
Shivam Jain

Vidhi Damani

Vishnu M


Fatema Kinkhabwala

Hemang Mankar

Mythri Murali
Raunak Rai Maini

Reet Malik

Siri Harish
Tanvi Kaushal

Tarun Katariya

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