Arbitrators - Chapter 4 - Arbitration Law of Korea: Practice and Procedure
Originally from Arbitration Law of Korea: Practice and Procedure
One of the chief reasons parties choose arbitration over litigation for resolution of contentious legal disputes is the ability to control the procedure, and tailor it to a particular dispute. An important aspect of this flexibility is the ability to choose the adjudicators in each case. By contrast, in a domestic court system, a judge is typically assigned to a case without input from the parties. Moreover, except in certain specialized courts which handle particular types of matters (e.g., bankruptcy, juvenile crimes, etc.), judges are generalists called upon to handle a range of legal disputes and the parties have no ability to select a judge with a particular area of expertise.
The ability to select arbitrators provides parties the option of appointing adjudicators with expertise--or other desired qualities--specifically suited to the dispute. Naturally, the technical and legal backgrounds of the arbitrators are but two of many criteria the parties might consider important in the selection of arbitrators, and the fact remains that having the autonomy to choose arbitrators remains one of the most appealing, and important, aspects of arbitration.
4.2 REQUIREMENTS TO SERVE AS ARBITRATOR
Anyone may serve as an arbitrator in an arbitration seated in Korea so long as the person has legal capacity,1 is independent and impartial, and is not otherwise unable to perform the duties of an arbitrator.2 No particular nationality or occupation is required or proscribed.3 In other words, one need not be a Korean national or a lawyer to act as an arbitrator.
In practice, arbitrators are usually attorneys. As to nationality, arbitrators in domestic arbitrations between Korean parties are almost always Korean nationals for the obvious reason that Korean language ability is generally required, while in international arbitrations, arbitrators are frequently nationals of other countries. In recent years there has been a significant rise in the number of Korean arbitrators serving in international arbitrations,