On Monday, September 22, Arbitrator Intelligence officially launches! This blog post gives some basic background about the project, explains how to use the site, and asks for your help in fulfilling our “Wish List.” When you are done reading, visit the site here!
The goal of Arbitrator Intelligence is to promote transparency, fairness, and accountability in the selection of international arbitrators by increasing and equalizing access to critical information about arbitrators and their decision making. Arbitrator Intelligence is currently in a preliminary start-up phase, organized around a Pilot Project.
The Pilot Project
While later phases of Arbitrator Intelligence will develop a num [...]
A few weeks ago, the day before the Obama Administration and the EU announced dramatic new sanctions against Russia, an international tribunal announced a $50 billion award against Russia in favor of a group of oil investors. The current violence engulfing Iraq has multiple satellite arbitration disputes over oil sales to Turkey. Recent violence on the Crimean Peninsula implicates massive oil fields off the coast of Crimea that will soon spawn international arbitration claims against the Ukraine, Russia or both. Last Spring, China positioned an oil rig near islands whose control is disputed with the Philippines. The move triggered not only a Philippines-China diplomatic row, but also an UN [...]
On this blog, I have previously (here and here) questioned existing practices for how arbitrators are selected and argued that a new approach is both necessary and long overdue. To briefly recap those previous posts, the selection of arbitrators is one of the most sensitive and critical moments in an arbitration. Arbitrators not only decide substantive outcomes of disputes, but also are vested with extraordinary discretion to determine a range of issues that affect how the arbitration will proceed—from the scope of arbitral jurisdiction, to how the applicable law is selected, to the procedures for adducing evidence, to the availability of interim relief, to how costs and fees are awarded. [...]
In a recent post, here, I argued that the time has come to move on from the gumshoe clue-hunting approach currently employed to select international arbitrators. Existing practices are severely outdated and unduly expensive in an era of information and technological efficiency. The process for selecting arbitrators, I argued, should be more transparent and key information about arbitrators should be more equally accessible. The solution I proposed is what I have termed the “International Arbitrator Information Project,” a project that would aim to provide reliable, online one-stop-shopping for information about arbitrators. This post sketches some of the features and challenges that [...]
As Rusty Park remarked, “[I]n real estate the three key elements are ‘location, location, location,’ … in arbitration the applicable trinity is ‘arbitrator, arbitrator, arbitrator.”’ Empirical studies consistently verify that parties’ ability to select arbitrators is one of the primary reasons they select arbitration as a means of dispute resolution. Parties also consistently vote with their feet by rejecting available options to have arbitral institutions or appointing authorities select arbitrators on their behalf.
Parties seek to actively participate in the arbitrator selection process—the ultimate form of forum shopping. The arbitral tribunal can, in the absence [...]