Improving Life with the Party-Approinted Arbitrator: Clearer Conduct Guidelines for “Nonneutrals” – Vol. 11 No. 3

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AuthorJames H. Carter*

Published: June 2000

Arbitrators and Arbitral Tribunals
Categories of Disputes
Commercial Disputes

Description: Tripartite arbitral tribunals for commercial disputes, including two party-appointed arbitrators, are not withering away. The tripartite institution is in fact thriving, but some of those arbitrators continue to be classified as “nonneutrals.” Many remain confused about what that term means. What is the nonneutral’s role? If we must live with him or her, can practical rules of conduct for the nonneutral party-appointed arbitrator be clarified?


Party-appointed arbitrators in international proceedings, including those conducted in the United States, subscribe in principle to essentially the same standards of independence and impartiality as do arbitrators selected by arbitral institutions or by the parties jointly. They may seek to assure that the position of the party who appointed them is fully understood, but party-appointed arbitrators are expected to exercise independent judgment in reaching decisions in favor of the party with the better case.

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*Partner, Sullivan & Cromwell.