My Experience in Arbitration

6 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2012

Date Written: January 24, 2012


This paper deals with the nature of arbitration as one of the alternatives in dispute resolution processes different from mediation and conciliation, and obviously, from judicial adjudication. Unlike a mediator or a conciliator, an arbitrator is empowered to pass a judgement, like a court. In other words, the arbitrator will render a decision which is binding for the parties. The arbitrator has the jurisdictio, like a judge. Although the office of a judge and an arbitrator is the same, the source of their power is different. The judge’s power originates from a State, whereas the power of the arbitrator results primarily from a contract. Unlike the court, the arbitrator lacks the imperium, i.e. the power to make the award enforceable. When a party refuses to enforce the award, enforceability can only be provided by the judge or an authority of the state where the award has to be enforced. In a certain sense the state thus provides the back up for the arbitration system. This paper presents personal thoughts drawn from the author’s professional experience as an arbitrator in Franco-German disputes.

Keywords: Arbitration, Dispute Resolution, International Commercial Arbitration, Reasoning in Arbitration, Deliberation of Arbitral Awards, Equity, Conciliation, Mitigation of Damages, Amiable Composition, French and German Arbitration

Suggested Citation

Witz, Claude, My Experience in Arbitration (January 24, 2012). Oñati Socio-Legal Series, Vol. 1, No. 9, 2011, Available at SSRN:

Claude Witz (Contact Author)

Saarland University ( email )

Saarbrucken, Saarland D-66123

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