At the beginning of the year, the ICC announced that as of this year it will publish the ICC- and party-appointed arbitrators’ names and details on its website to bolster transparency in arbitration (see http://globalarbitrationnews.com/new-year-new-policies-icc-bolster-arbitrator-efficiency-transparency-arbitrations/). In June 2016, the ICC turned these words into action and released for the first time the arbitrators’ details in a chart on its website. The chart contains sections for the arbitrators’ names, nationalities, roles, their appointment method and their status (active or inactive). This chart is updated every month.
Now, after four months, the question is: What does the list show? Who is appointed in ICC arbitrations? Here is a first evaluation:
Up until today, the chart contains information about 80 arbitrators in total, 23 sole arbitrators and 19 tribunals composed of three arbitrators. Hence, the current information refers to 42 pending cases.
Out of the 80 arbitrators that were appointed in ICC arbitrations since June, the ICC Court has appointed 18 arbitrators, four presiding arbitrators and 14 sole arbitrators. The numbers show: the ICC Court is often involved in the appointment of sole arbitrators, but not in the appointment of the members of tribunals.
The Court appointed five Swiss arbitrators, two arbitrators from the Netherlands, France and Germany and one from Austria, Egypt, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Sweden, Singapore and the United States.
Swiss arbitrators were not only repeatedly nominated by the ICC Court, but are in general at the top of the 80 listed arbitrators. The most often appointed nationalities are:
- Swiss: 15 appointees
- English: 13 appointees
- French: nine appointees
This fact is remarkable. It would, however, be wrong to draw any conclusions from the fact that predominantly Swiss and English arbitrators were appointed during the last four months. The ICC chart does not provide any details about the cases such as the applicable law or the nationalities of the parties.
The ICC has for the first time for 2015 published the percentage of female arbitrators (see http://globalarbitrationnews.com/global-arbitration-cases-still-rise-arbitral-institutions-caseload-statistics-2015/). In 2015, 10 percent of arbitrators were women. The chart provides full transparency about gender equality in that respect for the appointments since June 2016: 16 of the 80 listed arbitrators are female, a number that seems rather small. It has to be noted, however, that out of the 14 ICC appointed sole arbitrators eight are female. The four ICC appointed presiding arbitrators, on the other hand, are male. In total only one woman presides one of the 19 tribunals, 13 of them being all male tribunals.
Overall, the ICC chart provides transparency which is most welcome. The chart will be the response to prejudices that arbitral tribunals are always composed of the same persons. It will remain to be seen whether other arbitral institutions will follow the ICC’s example.