“Let sleeping dogs lie.” For many years little more was said about criminal and civil liability of arbitrators and arbitral institutions. More recently, “immunity of arbitrators and arbitral institutions” as one liked and likes to call it, gained popularity. With increasing enthusiasm, one arbitral institution after another wrote into its arbitration rules that its arbitrators were immune.1 Enthusiasm is contagious. Legislators2 inserted a provision providing for immunity of arbitrators. And while one was at it, one added experts and the arbitral institutions and said that they were immune also.3 All this could do no harm, one thought, and it might on occasion do some good.
This was rather remarkable since the authors who had studied the subject4 had generally come to the opposite conclusion.5 One also forgot that earlier arbitration laws do in fact expressly provide for liability of arbitrators.6