Self-Appointment in International Arbitration
Max Planck Encyclopedia of International Procedural Law, Forthcoming
6 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2019
Date Written: 2019
Appointing authorities are often called upon to appoint arbitrators to arbitral tribunals. Ordinarily, the appointing authority does not appoint him or herself to the tribunal. Nevertheless, arbitration rules generally do not prohibit self-appointment. In fact, in two arbitrations brought under Annex VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the appointing authority appointed himself to the tribunal: Judge Vladimir Golitsyn in the Enrica Lexie case, and Judge Boualem Bouguetaia in the Coastal State Rights case. Despite the lack of express prohibitions on self-appointment, at least three concerns that may arise concerning its propriety: conflicts of interest, influence over co-arbitrators, and contravention of the parties' intentions. These concerns arise not only in cases of self-appointment, but also in cases where one or both parties appoint the appointing authority to the tribunal, which has occurred at least three times in inter-State arbitrations: Judge Stephen Schwebel in the Eritrea/Yemen case, Judge Dolliver Nelson in the Guyana v. Suriname case, and Judge Ronny Abraham in the Croatia/Slovenia case.
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