Many factors to consider when selecting an arbitrator

June 7, 2013
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Factors on selecting an Arbitrator

Anyone who has ever seen court proceedings is aware of the key players in trial settings. Prosecutor, defense attorney, judge, and bailiff are nearly always present, but there are other ways that disputes between parties can be settled that require a different group of legal professionals. One of them is the arbitrator.

One who acts as a “judge” at an arbitration hearing—another form of legal dispute resolution that is similar to a trial—an arbitrator is chosen earlier on in the legal process. It is not uncommon for parties and lawyers to gather and discuss the possible candidates. There are several different factors that must be considered when selecting the right arbitrator.

Part of the Arbitration Act covers the arbitrator selection process, as it mandates impartiality, however, there are many more factors to be considered aside from independence. These include things like competence, diligence and discretion.

The arbitrator selection process will be affected by the nature of the case. An arbitrator for a case involving the building of an airport may not be considered the best option for dispute resolution in a niche industry like coffee beans. There are also cases that require specific procedural knowledge that will make more experienced arbitrators more attractive. If that case is international, a candidate who speaks the respective language with enough authority to discuss legal matters should be the first choice.

With all these factors considered, the parties’ lawyers can come together and select the candidates they want. To ensure a fair proceedings for both parties, selecting the right arbitrator is key.

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