The Timely Arbitrator: Reflections on the Bockstiegel Method
Arbitration International: The Journal of the London Court of International Arbitration, Vol. 22, No. 1, 2006
University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010-28
11 Pages Posted: 11 Nov 2010
Date Written: 2006
Friends of Karl-Heinz Böckstiegel remark that it is almost impossible to imagine him in an embarrassing situation. He seems always to ﬁnd himself in the right place at the right time, and, perhaps more importantly, never in the wrong place at the wrong time. The key to this phenomenon is to be found in two words: anticipation and planning. These concepts are not difficult to understand. They are simply hard to implement.
Over the years, practitioners in the ﬁeld of international arbitration have become conscious of a method of controlling time which is so closely identified with its creator that most of us will understand a suggestion – without further explanation – to follow ‘the Böckstiegel Method,’ or ‘a Böckstiegel style procedure.’ Given the conﬁdentiality of most arbitral proceedings, the details of this method are not a matter of general knowledge; the procedural orders that reﬂect the Böckstiegel Method tend to become part of the intellectual property of fellow arbitrators, parties, counsel who have participated in cases over which he has presided.
It is therefore a source of satisfaction to have available the full text of an award which sets out a procedural framework characteristic of the Böckstiegel Method. This award, rendered in the Tradex Hellas v. Albania case under the aegis of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes and under the chairmanship of Professor Böckstiegel, has been published by consent in extenso.
Time is a particularly precious commodity in international arbitral proceedings. No one seeks with greater insistence to avoid its waste than Professor Böckstiegel. The Tradex case provides an interesting illustration of his approach, and invites the reﬂections that follow.
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