International Arbitration Agreements: A Look Behind The Scenes - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 53, No. 4
The author is general counsel of the American Arbitration Association and president of the International Federation of Commercial Arbitration
Institutions. He wishes to acknowledge Julie A. Klein for her valuable assistance in the preparation of this article, which was first presented at the International Chamber of Commerce’s 15th joint colloquium held in Paris earlier this year.
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
Institutional support often plays a vital role in ensuring an effective arbitration process. At the heart of the administered arbitration process, however, is party autonomy and wellcrafted rules of procedure. When the three elements—the parties, the administering institution, and the rules—function in tandem, the result reflects fairness and efficiency. Michael Hoellering takes a comprehensive look at how the courts and arbitral institutions have helped shape the role played by the arbitrator and the institution in disputes arising out of international commercial and financial transactions.
International arbitration is a consensual, contractual process. At its heart is the cardinal principle of party autonomy, according to which parties enjoy wide latitude in structuring their arbitration arrangements so as to suit their particular needs.1 Implicit in this scheme of flexible arbitral self-government is an understanding that the rules stipulated to by the parties as governing their arbitration will bind the arbitrators and administering institution in performance of their respective functions. To a large extent, however, this characterization is incomplete, for it fails to describe the institution’s role in shaping and giving true meaning to the parties’ agreement a role that the institution can more successfully play when the parties have drafted a simple, broadly worded arbitration clause that incorporates state of the art arbitration rules allowing for the constructive implementation of clause provisions to ensure a fair and effective arbitration process.