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What a Week!

What a Week! In the secretive world of international and commercial arbitration, the most secretive part is certainly what goes on within an arbitral tribunal. We have three arbitrators coming from different legal, cultural and geographical backgrounds, two of whom will have been appointed by parties having opposing interests. They may have never met before, and each one has his or her own conception of how to behave towards the appointing party and towards collcagucs. Yet they have to immediately form a functioning unit, able to dispose of procedural and substantive issues. The present story, aimed at throwing some light on this and other aspects of the arbitral process, is a composite of several actual cases I have lived as chairman of arbitral tribunals. * * * It is a case involving cost overruns and defects in the construction of a dam in Africa, an Ice case. The seat of arbitration is Geneva but, in view of the large number of witnesses to be heard and the difficulty in obtaining the necessary entry visas for Switzerland, we decide to hold our hearing in Cairo, Egypt, instead. Fifteen witnesses, a one-week hearing. Arrival on Sunday afternoon at the hotel by the Nile, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of World Investment and Trade Brill

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1660-7112
eISSN
2211-9000
DOI
10.1163/221190005X00136
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In the secretive world of international and commercial arbitration, the most secretive part is certainly what goes on within an arbitral tribunal. We have three arbitrators coming from different legal, cultural and geographical backgrounds, two of whom will have been appointed by parties having opposing interests. They may have never met before, and each one has his or her own conception of how to behave towards the appointing party and towards collcagucs. Yet they have to immediately form a functioning unit, able to dispose of procedural and substantive issues. The present story, aimed at throwing some light on this and other aspects of the arbitral process, is a composite of several actual cases I have lived as chairman of arbitral tribunals. * * * It is a case involving cost overruns and defects in the construction of a dam in Africa, an Ice case. The seat of arbitration is Geneva but, in view of the large number of witnesses to be heard and the difficulty in obtaining the necessary entry visas for Switzerland, we decide to hold our hearing in Cairo, Egypt, instead. Fifteen witnesses, a one-week hearing. Arrival on Sunday afternoon at the hotel by the Nile,

Journal

Journal of World Investment and TradeBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2005

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