During the past twenty-five years that I have been presiding over arbitral tribunals in international cases, I have not come across a book that tells you how to do it in practice. Gradually, I developed the idea of writing such a practice guide to share my experiences with others. The invitation to write a contribution to the present collection of essays has provided the impetus for me to develop an outline with a number of practice pointers.
The limitations of my contribution are obvious. They are based on the experience in cases in which I acted as chairperson and in cases where I was able to observe the chairpersons either as coarbitrator or as counsel. Chairpersons have their own styles and approaches, which of course differ. Consequently, the practice pointers I give below are limited to my own experience, and other approaches naturally exist in practice. However, I notice an increasing convergence of approaches used by chairpersons in international arbitration. I believe this is a good thing, since it increases the predictability of the international arbitral process. Another limitation is that the practice pointers below are by no means exhaustive. I have attempted to identify the major ones within the limits of this contribution.
It should also be borne in mind that international arbitration is a flexible process that is to be tailored to the needs of each case. Hence, the practice pointers below are generalizations that do not necessarily apply to each and every case.