Volume 30 (2013) / Issue 4
Niklas Elofsson, 'Ex Parte Interviews of Party-Appointed Arbitrator Candidates: A Study Based on the Views of Counsel and Arbitrators in Sweden and the United States' (2013) 30 Journal of International Arbitration, Issue 4, pp. 381–405
Depending on how they are used, ex parte interviews can either be a helpful tool when parties want to appoint qualified and suitable arbitrators, or they may undermine the impartiality and independence of the arbitrators. This study of almost 100 counsel and arbitrators in Sweden and the United States shows clear support for ex parte interviews as such, but not under all circumstances. The study indicates that the main concern is the lack of international consensus regarding the circumstances under which ex parte interviews are appropriate. For instance, the American respondents were much more reluctant to disclose the existence of ex parte interviews, and found discussions of the parties' positions and facts related to the dispute less problematic than the Swedish respondents. After a review of the current practice and regulation, this article explores how transparency as well as specific, non-mandatory rules seem to be the two most important and requested solutions in avoiding undesirable situations and challenges, and maintaining confidence in the fairness of international arbitration.
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