Moving towards more gender diversity in international arbitration has gained traction. In our last year’s article, we predicted that “more arbitral institutions will publish the percentage of female arbitrators in their arbitral tribunals.[1] We were right. The statistics of female arbitrators looks as follows:

Percentage of Female Arbitrators: 2014 2015 2016
LCIA[2] (London Court of International Arbitration) 11.7% 16% 20.6%
VIAC[3] (Vienna International Arbitration Center) ./. 14.3% 17.1%
ICDR[4] (International Center for Dispute Resolution) ./. 16% 16%
ICC[5] (International Chamber of Commerce) ./. 4.4% 14.8%
DIS[6] (German Institution of Arbitration) ./. ./. 13.2%
HKIAC[7] (Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre) ./. ./. 11.5%

The available absolute numbers of female arbitrators are:

Absolute Numbers of Female Arbitrators 2014 2015 2016
LCIA[8] 49 71 102
VIAC[9] ./. 8 12
ICC[10] ./. 136 209
DIS[11] ./. ./. 46
HKIAC[12] ./. 16 18

There has been clearly a change of attitude. Arbitral institutions are very eager to increase the diversity of arbitral tribunals. However, arbitral institutions cannot do it alone. The LCIA’s Director General Dr. Jacomijn van Haersolte-van Hof notes that the female appointments were primarily attributable to LCIA nominations and that – going forward – a further increase will not be sustainable without additional input from nominating parties.[13] Only 8.8 % of the female arbitrators were selected by the parties.

Also in ICC arbitrations, most female arbitrators were appointed by the institution. However, the share of party-appointed female arbitrators was much bigger compared to LCIA arbitrations, namely 41.1 %.

In VIAC arbitrations, seven female arbitrators were appointed by the parties and five female arbitrators were appointed by the institution. That means, according to the available statistics, VIAC is the only institution where female arbitrators were not predominantly nominated by the institution.

The numbers are summarized in the following table:

Who selected the female arbitrators? Selected by Institution Selected by the Parties Selected by Co-Arbitrators
LCIA[14] 78.4% 8.8% 12.7%
VIAC[15] 41.7% 58.3% ./.
ICC[16] 46.5% 41.1% 12.4%