How is the Arbitrator appointed? Are there procedural safeguards to assure that an Arbitrator selected through the list method has no conflicts of interest?

In a private dispute resolution system, the appointment of the arbitration is a crucial and important process. It has a significant impact on the process of dispute resolution. It is the fundamental right of the parties to nominate and appoint the arbitrators of their choice because the quality of arbitration proceedings largely depends on the quality and skill of the arbitrators.

Once a decision to refer a dispute to arbitration has been made, nothing is more important than choosing the right arbitral tribunal. It is a choice that is important not only for the parties to the particular dispute but also for the reputation and standing of the arbitral process itself.

There are several recognized ways by which the parties can ‘agree’ on such composition. The parties can exercise this right by expressly agreeing on the appointment procedure in their arbitration agreement. They can achieve this by agreeing on the number of arbitrators and how they would be appointed.[1]

Parties could also appoint the arbitrator beforehand in arbitration agreement as well as the procedure to do so or parties could also agree to appoint the arbitrator after the arise of a dispute. The arbitration agreement could requires a sole arbitrator to be appointed or number of arbitrator could also vary. Mostly there is a sole arbitrator or three. In case of sole arbitrator the both parties mutually agreed to a single person whereas, the most common agreements for three-member Tribunals are that, Each party appoints one co-arbitrator, and the parties attempt to agree on the third arbitrator, the President of the Tribunal. OR in some cases the both arbitrator chosen by the parties mutually agree on a third arbitrator.

The qualification of the arbitrator also took into account before its nomination or appointment. Which could vary according to the dispute or the matter involve. Such as the knowledge and relevant experience of the arbitrator is important before its appointment as well the professional background of the arbitrator. It is not compulsory to be a lawyer for the appointment but mostly lawyers are preferred because of their relevancy and background. The professors are also seems as a good qualification for being appointment but It is a concern of some lawyers with common law background that such professors lack practical experience’s and more focused on doctrines.

There could also be different specific qualifications regarding the language, place, availability, and reputation of the arbitrator before appointment. As the choice of an arbitrator is so important, parties may want to interview prospective arbitrators before making a decision to choose them. These interviews are sometimes referred to colloquially as “beauty pageants.” Parties may believe that although resumes, reputation, and even personal acquaintance provide a lot of the information needed, a face-to-face meeting, or even a telephone interview, can provide a different and valuable kind of information.

If an Arbitrator selected through the list method has conflicts of interest there are procedural safeguards to assure the standard of independence and impartiality. These standards are usually regulated in detail by national legislations. Thus, international entities tried to set guidelines and general rules applicable in connection with the requirements for arbitration, in this respect, the IBA Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest, the New York Convention or the UNCITRAL Model Law represent attempts to standardize the content of impartiality and independence in arbitration.

However, substantial differences continue to exist in the international environment. Such as the no lawyer-client relationship between the arbitrator and the party. However, In appointing arbitrators, parties have to take into consideration the national law applicable to the matter, the international guidelines and rules regulating the selection of arbitrators, and the factual aspects of the case. The ideal arbitrator is the one that meets both the criteria of opportunity and legality with regard to the specific case at hand.

Leave a Comment