CAS in International Contracts & Arbitration

The expansion of global trade has resulted in an increasingly high degree specialization in international contract practices. The jurisdictional complexity of such contracts has led to a rapid growth in the role of alternative dispute settlement mechanisms. Many international corporations now have separate divisions within their own legal departments tasked with the drafting, negotiation, monitoring and enforcement of their international contracts – and with the settlement of any disputes they may give rise to. Other companies work with international law firms specializing in this demanding area.

A successful career in international contract law requires a thorough familiarity with multiple legal regimes – including the differing cultures they reflect and the ways in which they interact. When disputes arise, mastery of the ever-growing thicket of international conventions and standards is essential.

The remarkable expansion of global trade in recent decades has resulted in an increasingly high degree of specialization in contract practices. The jurisdictional complexities involved in modern commercial contracts have simultaneously led to a growing willingness on the part of international commercial partners to seek alternative means of resolving their differences and avoid traditional litigation procedures in the ordinary courts.

Negotiating and drafting international contracts, and putting alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to effective use, requires a thorough familiarity both with different national legal regimes, and with the applicable international conventions and standards.

The Fribourg Law Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in International Contracts & Arbitration offers students who already possess fundamental lawyering skills an opportunity to acquire – or refresh – their knowledge in areas of the law specific to international contracts and arbitration, in a brief but concentrated program of focused study.

The CAS in International Contracts & Arbitration will help you to deepen your understanding of the civil law and common law foundations of international contract law, to gain familiarity with the workings of applicable international conventions and standards, and to keep abreast of the most recent developments in specific areas of international contract law and alternative dispute resolution. The program offers a choice of 14 different areas for students to focus on, including the international sale of goods and services, international construction agreements, international distribution agreements, and others.

  • Who is eligible for the Fribourg Law LLM Program?

    The Certificate of Advanced Studies in International Contracts & Arbitration was designed to meet the demands of lawyers practicing in independent law firms or in the legal departments of multinational corporations or other companies operating internationally, or in non-governmental or international organizations.


    The program is also open to university graduates with degrees in disciplines other than law with professional experience in international contracts and dispute resolution.

  • What will you learn?

    Participants in the Certificate of Advanced Studies program may construct individualized study modules suited to their own specific needs and interests by choosing core curriculum units from a wide variety of offerings:

    • a comparative introduction to contracts in civil law and common law jurisdictions;
    • graduate level courses on Private International Law and International Arbitration;
    • seminars on key essential international instruments such as the UNIDROIT Principles for International Commercial Contracts, the Vienna Convention for the International Sale of Goods, the Principles of European Contract Law and the INCOTERMS;
    • intensive courses on specific contract types of particular importance in international commerce, including construction contracts, agency and distributorship agreements, joint venture and consortium agreements, consumer contracts, insurance contracts, professional sports contracts, merger and acquisition agreements, secured transactions, trusts and wealth planning structures, etc.

    Participants may enhance the value of their CAS by choosing more courses from the core curriculum or other courses in the field of business law from the supplementary units list.

  • Your Career Options

    The Certificate of Advanced Studies in International Contracts & Arbitration will prepare you for a wide range of career opportunities in the contracts or dispute resolution divisions of law firms and companies with international operations, in international organizations, or in non-governmental associations and organizations around the world.

    The CAS in International Contracts & Arbitration provides essential preparation for management positions for which expertise in contract law is a significant requirement.

  • Curriculum Structure and Requirements

    CAS courses are offered during both the fall and the spring semesters.

    • Fall semester: mid-September to mid-December 
    • Spring semester: mid-February to mid-June.

    All courses and examinations are held in English.

    Classes are held on campus at the Fribourg Law Faculty, with an average of four hours of classes per day.

    To receive their Certificate of Advance Studies, students must complete a sufficient number of curriculum units to earn a minimum of 10 ECTS credits, including:

    • 8 ECTS credits for successful completion of coursework  (4 to 6 units),
    • 2 ECTS credits for preparation of a Certificate Thesis.

    Fall semester examinations are conducted in the first two weeks of December; spring semester examinations are held between 15 May and 15 June.

  • Tuition Fees

    The tuition fee is CHF 8,000.-* and is payable in installments due upon commencement of each curriculum unit chosen.

    The fee for additional units is CHF 500.-* per ECTS credit.

    A 20% discount applies if tuition fees are paid in a single installment before the commencement of the first unit.


Click to open the request information form 


Click to open application form

  • Students about us

    Michael Szelgiewicz (Switzerland)

    "I really enjoyed being a student of the CAS in International Contracts program, the teaching staff was brilliant and the classes very rewarding.
    I especially profited from the course Contract Law Compared, in which I learned a lot about the world's different legal systems.
    In addition I used the opportunity to improve my English and French language skills, which is also very helpful in my current position in the legal department of an international pharmaceutical company. And last but not least I met many people from all over the world who have become friends.
    To sum up: it was a great experience in a very inspiring atmosphere, professionally as well as culturally!"

    Erlan Moldoshev (Kyrgyz Republic)

    "The LL.M. programs are designed for those practitioners willing to profound their expertise in European legal system as well as master their contract drafting skills and/or become an expert in arbitration. They offer valuable, relevant, theoretical and practical knowledge that is taught by highly qualified and internationally recognized professors from England, USA, Turkey, Middle East, China and Switzerland. Courses provide fundamental understanding of legal order in concerned countries. And the other, not less exciting part of this journey grants you with a chance to meet and make friends with students from many countries and of different backgrounds, who will be pleased to share legal experience from their jurisdiction.

    Those with a great desire to encompass legal skills and deepen their knowledge in international legal field should not hesitate to apply to this program."