International arbitration / conflicts of interest of arbitrators and their law firms / AAA / ICDR Adopts Appellate Arbitration Rules

  • 07/11/2013
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We refer to our newsletter dated 2013-06-01

We have the pleasure to announce that following recent serious cases having tarnished the image of international arbitration, the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), including its international arm, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (“ICDR”), has adopted a new set of rules which will, for the first time, permit parties to appeal arbitral awards within the arbitration process itself; (See AAA / ICDR press release; See Arbitration Appeals Rules).

In doing this, AAA / ICDR has just followed the example of the OHADA arbitration system which provides for substantive jurisdictional review of arbitral awards by the OHADA Common Court of Justice and Arbitration, in cases where provisions of the OHADA Uniform Act pertaining to arbitration have not been complied with by the arbitration tribunal.

Your website welcomes this move from AAA / ICDR, all the more if this move proves a significant contribution to the enhancement of AAA / ICDR standards on the issues of impartiality, independence and strict requirements of disclosure of conflicts of interest by arbitrators.

These standards exist today in writing, but as recent high profile cases are living proof, they clearly still have to be applied effectively and strictly complied with by the AAA / ICDR arbitration system. Indeed, AAA / ICDR, along with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), is one of the world's leading international institutions for commercial dispute resolution. It is its legal and moral duty to uphold its own written rules, stick to these rules, and apply more strictly and effectively the basic standards of arbitration: independence, impartiality and strict disclosure obligations of any potential conflict of interest by arbitrators and their law firms.

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