Bias of arbitrators revisited
Journal of Business Law
Sweet and Maxwell
© 2018 Thomson Reuters and Contributors.
Reason for embargo
Under embargo until 30 April 2019 in compliance with publisher policy.
International commercial arbitration lacks any universally recognized standard-setting body. Equally, no arbitral sets of worldwide etiquette rules nor any statutes and conventions containing any specific exist - other than general principles, i.e. that arbitrators must be free of bias, respect the limits of their authority and give each side an opportunity to present its case - and arbitral institutions leave arbitrators wide discretion in establishing facts and interpreting contracts. On the other hand, in order for a practice to qualify as biased or abusive, some contemplation of alternatives are required. However, most often, perceptions of abuse rest on cultural assumptions about the baselines and yardsticks that measure “normal procedure”. This paper examines the issues and parameters entailed in the notions of impartiality and independence of arbitrators so as to denote the extent of the definition of their potential bias. It also critically assesses the 2014 IBA Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest in International Arbitration and draws conclusions on the issue of bias of arbitrators in international commercial arbitration in the light of recent case law which is analysed as well as in the light of comparative analysis of the position in other jurisdictions (USA, France, Italy, Australia, Canada).
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available on Westlaw.
Vol. 2018 (4), pp. 344-366.