Internal Conflicts Among Arbitrators - Chapter 1 - Monads or Triads: Conflict and Cooperation among Arbitrators
In this chapter I discuss the potential conflicts of a legal nature which may oppose one arbitrator to another.
Although arbitrators act (or should act) collegially and in a spirit of collaboration among themselves, situations may occur where conflicts of a legal nature arise in their internal relationships.
I am not referring, obviously, to cases where arbitrators disagree among each other on the evaluation of the factual or legal elements of the dispute submitted to them and therefore cannot reach a consensus during the deliberation process. Nor am I referring to situations where there is simply bad personal chemistry, or even enmity among the members of the arbitral tribunal, provided, of course, that the decision-making process is not severely affected by such bad relationships. These situations may certainly lead to unnecessary tensions within the arbitral tribunal, but they are physiological, not pathological in nature, and are not per se relevant from a legal point of view.
I refer rather, to situations where the possible conflicts arise from causes of a legal nature.
This may be the case where an arbitrator becomes aware of conduct by one of his/her co-arbitrators which he/she considers patently improper or illegal, and has to assess which action, if any, he/she is entitled or committed to take in this respect as part of his/her duties as arbitrator. In such cases, the underlying assumption is that the affected party has itself taken no action against the wayward arbitrator, either because it is unaware of the misconduct or for other reasons.
 Some commentators (J. FRY, S. GREENBERG, F. MAZZA, The Secretariat’s Guide to ICC Arbitration, ICC Publication No. 729E, 2012, at 185; Y. DERAINS, E. A. SCHWARTZ, A Guide to the ICC Rules of Arbitration, Kluwer, 2005, at 196) report, however, few cases where venomous conflicts among arbitrators prevented the arbitral tribunal from functioning properly, thus forcing the ICC Court to replace them.