This session will explore the roles and responsibilities of an international arbitrator. To whom does the arbitrator owe duties: only the parties, or also to society? What analogies best capture the nature of these duties and the status of an arbitrator: parties’ employee, private judge or independent service provider? To what extent do different roles attach to arbitrators in commercial cases, as contrasted to investor-state disputes?
PROFESSOR PARK: As you know, our subject is a small one: what is an international arbitrator? Quite a question for a panel that starts just a few days before the summer solstice. Let me suggest that we step back and approach this query from two different perspectives. One would be the law, the legal framework of treaties and statutes and cases that provides the juridical support for arbitration. The object of arbitration law, in general, is two-pronged. The first part is to make sure that the parties’ bargain to arbitrate is enforced, but the second part, which takes up a lot more time when one looks at the cases and the statutes, relates to ensuring that the arbitral process is fundamentally fair, that the arbitrator stays within his or her jurisdictional limits, that the arbitrator is impartial, tht the arbitrator provides an opportunity to each side to present its case.