Biography | Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler

Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler | Biography


.Professor, Geneva University Law School (since 1997) (Director, Private International Law Department); Director, Geneva LLM in International Dispute Settlement (MIDS), a joint program of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and Geneva Law Faculty (launched in 2008). Partner, Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, Geneva. Formerly, assistant professor (private international law), University of Geneva Law School, (1993-1997); partner Schellenberg Wittmer (1996-2007), and partner (1985-1995) and associate (1981-1985), Baker & McKenzie, Geneva and New York. After studies at the University of Geneva (law degree 1974) and a doctorate from the University of Basle (summa cum laude, 1979), she was admitted to both the Geneva bar (1976) and the New York State Bar (1982).

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

Practises in international commercial, investment and sports arbitration. Handled over 180 international arbitrations, mainly as arbitrator. Appears on numerous institutional arbitration panels (including ICC, ICSID and AAA) 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 ten arbitrators worldwide.

Honorary President of the Swiss Arbitration Association and President from 2001 to 2005. Member of ICCA, LCIA, AAA Board, HKIAC Advisory Board, President of FIAA (Foundation for International Arbitration Advocacy); former member of ICC Court.

English, French, German, Spanish, reading knowledge of Italian.

Numerous publications in the area of her specialization (list available on General Editor of Journal of International Dispute Settlement (JIDS). Recent writings include:


  • International Arbitration: Law and Practice in Switzerland, Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2013 (co-author Antonio Rigozzi)
  • Commercial Arbitration before International Courts and Tribunals, Annual Arbitration Lecture, 2011, American University, American University International Law Review, forthcoming 2012
  • The Transnationalization of National Contract Law by the International Arbitrator, in Liber Amicorum Jean-Michel Jacquet, Lexis Nexis, forthcoming 2012
  • Diplomatic protection and investment arbitration: Dangers from non-disputing state party submissions?  Proceedings of colloquium held at IHEID in October 2010, 16pp., publication forthcoming 2012
  • The Survival of the Arbitration Agreement and Arbitration Proceedings in Cases of Cross-Border Insolvency: An Analysis from the Swiss Perspective, Les Cahiers de l'Arbitrage / The Paris Journal of International Arbitration, N° 2010-2, pp. 371-391, (co-authors Laurent Lévy and Sabina Sacco)
  • Interpretive Powers of the NAFTA Free Trade Commission – Necessary Safety Valve or Infringement of the Rule of Law? In Fifteen years of NAFTA Chapter 11 Arbitration, joint McGill University / IAI Conference proceedings, Frederic Bachand (Ed.), JurisNet 2011, pp. 175-194
  • Arbitrage international : Droit et pratique à la lumière de la LDIP, Weblaw, Berne, 2nd edition, 2010, 594 pp. (co-author Antonio Rigozzi)
  • Compensation assessment: Perspectives from investment arbitration, in The Law, Economics and Politics of Retaliation in WTO Dispute Settlement, Chad P. Bown / Joost Pauwelyn (Eds.), Cambridge University Press, 2010, pp. 623-640
  • Soft Law in International Arbitration - Codification and Normativity, Journal of International Dispute Settlement (JIDS) 2010, pp. 283-299
  • Interim relief in International Investment Agreements, in “Arbitration under International Investment Agreements: An analysis of the Key Procedural, Jurisdictional and Substantive Issues”, Katia Yannaca-Small (Ed.), Oxford University Press 2010, pp. 507-550, (co-author Aurélia Antonietti)



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