Removal, Resignation, Dismissal and Replacement of Arbitrators - Chapter 5 - Arbitral Institutions Under Scrutiny: ASA Special Series No. 40
Nathalie VOSER is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution Group of Schellenberg Wittmer in Zurich, Switzerland, where she heads the International Arbitration team. Her practice is focused on international arbitration and litigation. She often acts as counsel before arbitral tribunals and as an arbitrator (co-arbitrator and chairperson) and also regularly advises clients involved in complex multi-jurisdictional disputes. She has special expertise in disputes relating to construction and civil engineering projects, mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures, international commodity sales and license agreements, and the automotive and pharmaceutical industries. In 1988, Nathalie Voser graduated summa cum laude and two years later was admitted to the bar in Switzerland. In 1992, she became a juris doctor with summa cum laude and earned an LL.M. from Columbia University (New York) in 1994 with honors. In 2005, she received the venia docendi for private law, conflicts of laws, and comparative law, and now regularly teaches courses in commercial arbitration and other areas of Swiss private law. She is the author of many publications on general commercial law and international arbitration. She has been appointed to the Board of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce for the period of 2012-2014.
It is commonly recognized in the arbitration community that there are today more challenges of arbitrators than there were a decade ago. The statistics of ICC arbitration show that the number of challenges against arbitrators increased from 37 in 2004 to 57 in 2009. Although the challenges decreased to 46 in 2010,1 the overall increase evidences a general trend. The same trend is reported by commentators and from other institutions. 2
These figures illustrate the growing importance of the removal and replacement of arbitrators, which shall be discussed in this contribution.
Before entering the subject matter, it is useful to recall the terminology and distinctions:
One usually talks about removal if an arbitrator ceases his or her function on the institution's own motion. This is also known as “revocation of the appointment” (Arts. 12(1) Swiss Rules, 10 LCIA Rules) as well as “release” (Art. 16 SCC Rules).
Replacement means the second step after one arbitrator has left a panel whether because of successful challenge, removal by the institution, dismissal, resignation or death. However, a replacement is not always necessary (see Section 5 below). Therefore, it makes sense to distinguish between removal as a first step and replacement as a second step.3