International organizations, including IGOs (inter-governmental organizations) and NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) play an important role in the international legal system. IGOs are permanent associations of nation states created by treaty, often to monitor treaty compliance. IGOs also serve as forums for the adoption of new treaties. Given their status, IGOs can even enter into treaties with other IGOs or states.
In contrast, NGOs are non profit, private organizations established by individuals or groups. Arbitral bodies can fall into either category. When visiting the website of an international organization, it is always worth checking the structure of an organization, its mission and history in order to understand its status in the international legal system.
Listed below are the major international arbitral institutions as well as organizations that promote and support international commercial arbitration. Arbitral rules of these bodies are available at their websites. The rules of better known arbitral bodies, such as the London Court of International Arbitration, the Permanent Court of Arbitration and International Chamber of Commerce are also available via Westlaw.