Why Party-Appointed Arbitrators: A reflection

1. Introduction


Arbitration has been a prevalent method of dispute settlement, in various countries of the world of today and yesterday. Arbitration is defined in the Black’s Law Dictionary as “a method of dispute resolution involving one or more neutral third party who is usually agreed to by the disputing parties and whose decision is binding.”

Today, with what seems to be the increasing complexity of international arbitration proceedings, and concomitant concern on the part of users as to the efficiency of arbitration as a means of dispute resolution, it may be appropriate for questions to be raised as to the role of party-appointed arbitrators in the efficient operation of arbitral tribunals.

In the common international arbitration scenario of a tripartite panel, with each party appointing one arbitrator and the party-appointed arbitrators then selecting the presiding arbitrator, each side's selection of his arbitrator is perhaps the single most determinative step in the arbitration. The ability to appoint one of the decision makers is a defining aspect of the arbitral system and provides a powerful instrument when used wisely by a party.

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