Ensuring the arbitral tribunal’s independence and impartiality
Produced in partnership with Clifford Chance
Ensuring the arbitral tribunal’s independence and impartiality

The following Arbitration practice note produced in partnership with Clifford Chance provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Ensuring the arbitral tribunal’s independence and impartiality
  • Issues of independence and impartiality
  • Ensuring independence and impartiality
  • Points to consider when nominating an arbitrator
  • Examples of provisions in institutional and ad hoc arbitration rules
  • London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) Arbitration Rules
  • International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Arbitration Rules
  • American Arbitration Association (AAA) Commercial Arbitration Rules
  • Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) Arbitration Rules
  • Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC) Arbitration Rules
  • More...

This Practice considers issues concerning the independence and/or impartiality of arbitrators in arbitral proceedings. Reference is made to the law of England and Wales, the Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996) and certain international arbitration rules. This Practice Note should be read in conjunction with Practice Note: Challenging the tribunal’s independence or impartiality.

Issues of independence and impartiality

The principle that a court of law should be independent and impartial is firmly embedded in all legal systems and major international human rights instruments. Similarly, it is a core principle of arbitration that arbitrators be independent and impartial of the parties to the arbitration at the time of appointment and for the duration of the proceedings. However, this principle exists in parallel to the peculiar characteristic in arbitration that the parties have the right to appoint an arbitrator of their choosing.

Arbitration rules and case law provide some clarity as to the considerations that an arbitrator should bear in mind in order to fulfil their duty of independence and impartiality and the circumstances in which an arbitrator should disclose facts and circumstances that may give rise to doubts as to the arbitrator’s impartiality or independence.

Under most leading institutional and ad hoc arbitration rules as well as national arbitration laws, a party’s choice of arbitrator may be rejected or challenged because that arbitrator is not independent or impartial. An arbitrator’s

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