Decision of England's Court of Appeal (Civil Division) rendered in 2000 in case  EWCA Civ 154 the Saudi Cable case - SAR 2003 - 2
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(1) What constitutes bias on the part of an arbitrator?
(2) What constitutes misconduct on the part of an arbitrator?
(3) Whether an arbitral institution’s decision on a challenge of an
arbitrator is final.
(4) Whether the arbitrator should be removed and awards set aside on
ground of bias.
(1) When deciding whether bias has been established, the court
personifies the reasonable man. The court considers on all the
material which is placed before it whether there is any real danger of
unconscious bias on the part of the decision maker. This is the case
irrespective of whether it is a judge or an arbitrator who is the
subject of the allegation of bias.
(2) The ICC Rules do not impose a wider obligation of disclosure than
that relating to independence, thus not impartiality. The arbitrator’s
non-executive directorship of a competitor company did not call in
question his independence; and the main plank of the appellants’
case concerned the possible disclosure of confidential information
to a non-executive director of a competitor, rather than the
(3) The finality provision in the ICC Rules does not mean that the
English courts have no power to review the decision of the ICC
Court. The finality provision does not operate to exclude the
English court’s jurisdiction under s.23 of the 1950 Act. Thus, the
English courts retain their jurisdiction to determine whether the
ICC Rules have been breached when entertaining an application to
remove for alleged misconduct.
(4) Even if it were a procedural mishap it would be inappropriate in the
circumstances of this case – the arbitration having reached the stage
it has - to set aside the awards or to remove the arbitrator.