THE FUNCTIONS OF ARBITRAL INSTITUTIONS: THEORETICAL REPRESENTATIONS AND PRACTICAL REALITIES
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While thousands of cross-border disputes are resolved each year through institutional arbitration, there appears to be little understanding of the role of arbitral institutions. In particular, very little academic scholarship has been produced on the nature of the functions exercised by arbitral institutions in the proceedings they administer. This thesis seeks to rectify this gap by (1) identifying in the literature conventional assumptions as to the functions of arbitral institutions in the institutional arbitration process; (2) critically assessing such conventional assumptions; and (3) offering a novel and more realistic representation of the functions of arbitral institutions. This thesis is principally based on a systematic study of the activities performed by over 40 international arbitration institutions in their administration of cases. This study also examines court decisions on the nature of the functions exercised by such institutions in some leading civil law and common law jurisdictions. The thesis finds that arbitration institutions are conventionally portrayed in the literature in one of two ways: According to a first representation, arbitral institutions are mere administrators with no decision-making power whatsoever. According to another representation, while institutions are occasionally called upon to exercise some measure of decision-making, measures taken by institutions remain immaterial because of their alleged ‗administrative‘/‗non-jurisdictional‘ nature. In both instances, it is conventionally assumed that, contrary to arbitrators, arbitral institutions should not be concerned by due process when they discharge their duties. This thesis argues that these two conventional representations are difficult to reconcile with the diverse reality of institutional arbitration. While some institutions have a very limited involvement in the arbitrations conducted under their auspices, others participate more actively in their resolution. The thesis therefore concludes that arbitral institutions can be more accurately described as ancillary participants in the adjudicative process which decisions, insofar as they may occasionally be outcome-determinative, should call upon the application of some due process standards.
- Theses