Arbitrators | In Principle

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Who can act as an arbitrator?

Any natural person with full legal capacity can act as an arbitrator. The only exception is that state judges cannot act as arbitrators unless retired.

If the parties do not agree on a procedure for appointing arbitrators, the procedure specified in the Civil Procedure Code applies.

Can the number of arbitrators be specified?

The parties are free to determine the number of arbitrators. If the number of arbitrators is not fixed by the parties, the Civil Procedure Code provides for appointment of three arbitrators.

What to do if the opponent refuses to appoint “its” arbitrator?

If the parties cannot agree on the choice of arbitrators or fail to appoint them, either party can request the court to appoint arbitrators. When appointing an arbitrator, the court should take into consideration any qualifications required of the arbitrator by the agreement of the parties and such considerations as are likely to secure the appointment of an independent and impartial arbitrator. (In the case of a sole arbitrator, where the parties are from different countries, the advisability of appointing an arbitrator of a nationality different from those of the parties should also be considered.)

Can an arbitrator be removed?

A person appointed as an arbitrator is required to disclose to the parties any circumstances likely to give rise to justifiable doubts as to his impartiality or independence. An arbitrator may be challenged only if circumstances exist that give rise to justifiable doubts as to his impartiality or independence, or if he does not possess the qualifications stipulated by the parties. A party may challenge an arbitrator it has appointed, or in whose appointment it has participated, only for reasons the party becomes aware of after the appointment was made.

The parties are free to agree on a procedure for challenging an arbitrator. Generally, relevant provisions are included in the rules of permanent arbitration institutions.

Unless otherwise agreed, the challenging party should, within two weeks of becoming aware of the circumstances justifying the challenge, notify all the arbitrators and the other party of the reasons for the challenge. The challenged arbitrator may withdraw from office himself or be removed by the parties within two weeks of receipt of the notification. Otherwise, the challenging party is entitled to apply to the court within another two weeks for a ruling on the challenge. In any case, the challenging party may apply to the court if no decision is made either by the challenged arbitrator or the parties within one month of receipt of the request.

The parties may at any time unanimously remove an arbitrator from office. The court may also remove an arbitrator at the request of either party if it is evident that the arbitrator will not perform his duties on time or is in unreasonable delay.