A Take on the Growing Challenge of Repeat Appointments of Arbitrations.
Apoorba Biswas & Rishabh Mishra
The full chapter may be found by clicking on the PDF link to the left.
In recent times, the face of adjudication in commercial disputes has changed with the introduction of alternative modes of dispute resolution. Arbitration has become favorable to businesses owing to its timely disposal of matters and various other benefits. An arbitrator is held in the same pedestal with a judge. Therefore, this paper attempts to ignite a serious discussion on conflict of interest issues that usually arise in an arbitration proceeding. Undoubtedly, the appointment of arbitrator plays a pivotal role in order to safeguard the integrity of the proceedings. The paper focuses majorly upon the practice of repeat appointments of the arbitrator. The paper analyses the provisions of domestic as well as the international standards which sets forth parameters to objectively identify the bias or prejudice, which an arbitrator may carry with him in specific matters. With this premise, the significant issue raised in the paper is the effectiveness of these legal remedies. Have they become merely a matter of procedural formality or are followed in true letter and spirit? In this regard, the author has analysed a recent judgment of the Bombay High Court to draw a comparison from other jurisdictions. The paper also discusses the feasibility of disclosures done by the arbitrators in the current Indian practices. It is clearly outlined that the disclosure norms are on the verge of becoming mere redundant formalities, if serious steps are not taken. The duty of the arbitrator to stand above prejudice cannot be emphasized enough to maintain the sanctity of an arbitration proceeding. In this paper, procedural as well as substantive changes in the current Indian legal framework is recommended with a special emphasis supplied to observe adherence to the international standards.