Through this research paper, the authors attempt to examine the various factors that affect these ideas of ‘inclusivity’ as well as ‘diversity’, and how these ideas are consistent or inconsistent with the fundamental principles underlying arbitration.
Animesh Anand Bordoloi, Assistant Professor, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Natasha Singh, NALSAR University of Law.
Available literature highlights that though most countries had their own form of private dispute settlement, similar to an unorganized form of arbitration, the development of modern international commercial arbitration, as it exists today, dates back to several concrete steps taken in the twentieth century by Western countries. Decades later, this Western influence continues to be highly pervasive, and is one of the important contributing factors for practitioners from such regions enjoying the greatest number of appointments as arbitrators.
This has led to serious debates revolving around diversity and inclusivity in arbitral tribunals. Through this research paper, the authors attempt to examine the various factors that affect these ideas of ‘inclusivity’ as well as ‘diversity’, and how these ideas are consistent or inconsistent with the fundamental principles underlying arbitration. The paper discusses various initiatives that have been undertaken to increase all forms of diversity – of nationality, race, gender, culture, and so on- and then evaluates the effectiveness of the same.
It also analyzes the idea of ‘familiarity’ in appointment of arbitrators, including the idea of an arbitrator’s previous experience, and if at all it would be fair to ask parties to give up on their autonomy while pushing for diversity in the tribunal. The research is premised on the hypothesis that there exists an inherent tension between these ideas. Given that most legislations recognize the autonomy of contracting parties are extremely essential, any initiative seeking to increase diversity might turn out to be a complex one.
The authors also discuss, as a case study, the structure of the Indian judicial system, which in the absence of any definite setup has struggled to create and sustain diversity, particularly from the gender vantage. The paper concludes by discussing plausible solutions, structures and stakeholders, which if identified, as well as regulated efficiently, can play a significant role in pushing for such changes.
Published in: Revista Brasileira de Alternative Dispute Resolution
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