PARTY-APPOINTED ARBITRATORS IN INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION
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This thesis is a study of the system of party-appointed arbitrators in international commercial arbitration: an attempt to provide a comprehensive assessment of the system, in which the main questions about it are addressed and a set of answers to those questions is offered. The assessment takes a three-pronged approach: historical, theoretical and empirical. It includes an historical analysis of unilateral nominations, a theoretical assessment of how the system presently works and a comparative empirical study of challenges of arbitrators in ICC practice. The theoretical assessment of the system of unilateral appointments is a critical analysis of arbitration rules, laws, case law, other authors’ reflections on the system and other written materials (such as, for instance, the works of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law and of the International Bar Association). This assessment addresses many questions, including, amongst others: the limits to the right of the parties to make unilateral appointments, the risks to the principle of equality of the parties in the constitution of the arbitral tribunal in certain situations (e.g. multiparty arbitrations, consolidation, joinder), the specific problems of bias in tribunals with party-appointed members, the repeat appointments of an arbitrator by the same party or counsel, the question of whether a different standard of impartiality and independence in party-appointed arbitrators makes any sense, the presumption that party-appointed arbitrators can do things that presiding arbitrators cannot (e.g. the so-called ‘special role’ of party-appointed arbitrators and certain unilateral communications between appointors and appointees) and the question of whether it is worth keeping the system of unilateral appointments as the default method for the constitution of multiple-member tribunals. The study also includes some suggestions on how to improve the system, namely in order to increase the trust of each party in the arbitrator appointed by the other party and to allow an accurate match between what arbitration end-users may want from party-appointed arbitrators and what they ultimately get.
AuthorsMuntañola, Alfonso Gómez-Acebo
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