Dr. Karrer is an honorary president of the Asociatian Swisse de l’Arbitrage, a vice president of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce and a member of the ICC International Court of Arbitration. He serves on the panel of arbitrators of many international arbitration institutions. He has a website at www.pierrekarrer.com
Dr. Pierre Karrer offers a no-holds-barred assessment of whether arbitrating with civil law or common law arbitrators or civil law or common law attorneys makes a difference in the course of international arbitration.
All the time people ask me whether it makes a difference whether I am sitting with coarbitrators from the civil law or the common law tradition. I tell them there’s not much difference. It all depends on the people. Some people have vast international experience, and by that I mean truly international experience beyond the English-speaking, cricket-playing world. They have arbitrated all over the world with co-arbitrators from all over the world, and lawyers from all over the world have appeared before them. They take a comparative law approach. Actually, I would say, it is not even primarily a legal approach; it’s a practical approach.
Determining the applicable law and its content is by no means the first task in arbitration. It is one of the last, once the facts of the case have been established.