Author: Mark W. Levine**
Published: July 1995
Independence and Impartiality
Immunity of Arbitrators
Description: In recent years, the field of arbitration has witnessed explosive growth and captured the attention of both the legal and business communities. Consequently, the duties and the legal status of arbitrators have assumed increased importance. It is essential, then, to define clearly the role and the obligations of the arbitrator and to determine what kind of protection he ought to be offered. This note will consider the duty of arbitrators to disclose potentially relevant information within the context of the doctrine of arbitral immunity.
Part two will examine the duty of arbitrators to disclose information concerning their qualifications and potential biases. Such information might include, for example, contacts with parties to the arbitration or with persons associated with them. It will then propose the adoption of a standard disclosure questionnaire to encourage appropriate compliance with the disclosure requirement. Part three will consider the consequences of non-disclosure and analyze a case where an American court considered this issue. Part four will discuss how the doctrine of arbitral immunity from personal liability was developed in the United States and its treatment under the international rules concerning arbitration. It will compare the position of an arbitrator with that of a judge and evaluate the likelihood of a breach of arbitral immunity for non-disclosure.
*Notes & Comments
**Associate, Steptoe & Johnson, Washington, D.C.