Author: James H. Carter*
Published: December 1994
Selection by Arbitral Institution
Independence and Impartiality
Nationality of Arbitrators
Description: The three most important considerations in real estate transactions, we are told, are: “location, location, location.” Similarly, one might say, the top three subjects of concern in international arbitration are: “the arbitrators, the arbitrators and the arbitrators.”
The selection of arbitrators is the most important part of the arbitral process for counsel involved in international arbitration proceedings. If we get this step right, all the rest should follow in a predictable manner, and justice will be done. If not, we may be unpleasantly surprised. Nevertheless, such selections often are made in some haste and without much consideration of some of the issues. This is an unfortunate consequence of the fact that arbitration clauses and rules regularly put very short time limits on this important process.
The subject of arbitrator selection involves many issues, grouped around two themes: how to select arbitrators, and whom to select.
*Co-Chairman, Corporate Counsel Committee, American Arbitration Association (AAA); Sullivan & Cromwell, New York, New York.