Decisions by the SCC Institute Regarding Challenge of Arbitrators - (SAR) 2002 - 1
Marie Öhrström, Legal counsel at the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of
Click to view:
Preview Page SAR 2002 - 1
The Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC Institute) – like any other arbitration institution - on regularly basis receives challenges of arbitrators. Such challenges are, however, quite few, and the number of cases where the arbitrator is discharged is even fewer. Between January 1999 and June 2002, there were 13 instances of challenges of arbitrators. In three of these cases an arbitrator was subsequently discharged from his duties. It should be emphasized, however, that in many cases where an arbitrator is challenged, he or she often chooses to resign voluntarily because he or she feels uncomfortable with not having the full confidence from all parties involved in the dispute. Such challenges do not give rise to a decision by the SCC Institute and are, therefore, not reflected in the statistics below.
During the above-mentioned period a majority of the challenges were made under the SCC Rules. There were also some cases where the SCC Institute - in its capacity as appointing authority - decided on challenges under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules.
Needless to say the grounds for challenge differ from case to case. However, the most frequent – and moreover the most successful - groundf or challenging an arbitrator is that the arbitrator, or another person at the arbitrator’s law firm, have had previous contact with one of the parties involved, e.g. assisting one of the parties as counsel. Other reasons for filing a challenge have among others been: co-operation difficulties, the arbitrator is from the same geographic area or has the same nationality as a party, the arbitrator has been arbitrator in another case where one of the parties was involved, a person associated to the arbitrator may expect benefit as a result of the outcome of the dispute, or the arbitrator have worked with a colleague of the party’s counsel.