LEGAL VIEWPOINT: Some features of institutional arbitration by Dr AbdelGadir Warsama Ghalib, Principal Legal Counsel, Bahrain

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. Dr AbdelGadir Warsama Ghalib, Principal Legal Counsel, Bahrain

Seeking justice is a primary goal to all. To achieve justice, there is a need for appropriate judicial channels. Arbitration, among other things, gives a suitable alternative to settle many disputes. This course could be institutional or ad hoc arbitration, as determined by the concerned parties and expressed in the relevant arbitration agreement.

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In institutional arbitration, if taken as the alternative method for settlement of the dispute, there are many advantages. For example, the rules of the chosen arbitration institution are published for transparency and known by the parties. Thus, the parties seeking institutional arbitration, normally, incorporate the rules of the concerned institution in the agreement. The is advantageous, because the rules regulate the way in which arbitrators are to be appointed, how the arbitration to be administered and how to be conducted all through. Moreover, there is always clear mechanism in the rules to challenge and remove any of the arbitrators.

An important advantage of institutional arbitration is the availability of trained staff to administer the arbitration. This staff will ensure appointment of arbitrators, payment of fees and expenses of the arbitrators, the time limits are to be observed and, generally, the arbitration is run in a professional smooth way. In addition to administration and logistics, certain arbitration institutions, scrutinize final awards before given to the parties, thus ensuring that the reasoning and content of the award deal with all claims made by the parties and that the principles of due process have been adhered to throughout the course of the proceedings. This is very important for justice and quality services.

The institutions benefit from the available wealthy databases of arbitrators to assist the parties in appointing the most appropriate arbitrators, as they normally have panels of experienced arbitrators in various specialized areas. Moreover, the institutions, will ensure that the appointment of any arbitrator is only confirmed if he\she is independent, impartial and has enough time to fulfill the mandate with due care and professional efficiency. Also, institutions have acceptable mechanism for determining the remuneration and collecting the money to be paid to the tribunal without involving the arbitrators in any way. This means that the tribunal will be able to maintain certain level of material detachment. No doubt, this has the advantage of allowing the tribunal to focus on the substance of the case rather than to discuss with the parties some matters that are deemed of personal nature.

In arbitration institutions, there are provisions for tight time limits. These time limits will guide the tribunal and the parties to resolve the dispute swiftly as scheduled. Some institutional arbitration rules expressly provide for the continuation of arbitration to prevent the proceedings to stop, even if one of the party’s default during the arbitration.

Considering the advantages of institutional arbitration, especially in the international context, the fee to be paid to the institution, irrespective of the amount, is deemed a small price in consideration for an institutional organized and smooth arbitration. As we notice, international arbitration brings together parties from different countries and jurisdictions to work together in an organized manner to resolve disputes before an impartial and qualified tribunal. The parties have freely chosen the type of settlement mechanism which suits their purpose and objective. This scenario could be achieved through following the path of institutional arbitration to avail fast justice.