Arbitration is a procedure in which a dispute is submitted, by agreement of the parties, to one or more arbitrators who make a binding decision on the dispute.
There is no specific provision in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act of 1996, but it is expected that the arbitrator will be fair and impartial in his or her conduct.
In an event hosted by the Indian Arbitration Forum (IAF) on the topic ‘Code of Conduct for Arbitration’ Justice Roy said-
“Code of conduct is very important…this is one aspect which may have very important bearing in the efforts of the IAF to make India a place to choose as a destination for arbitration…What we are actually looking at in this topic is that we limit challenges which might come for an award. “If an arbitrator behaves in a certain manner and does not disclose something important, it can lead to a serious challenge.”
“Arbitration cannot be a “moonlighting” activity on the side. That cannot be. There has to be an element of seriousness. This would require us to remove any distractions from the arbitration process,” He further added.
A lawyer also needs to be experienced in the field of arbitration as well as an industry expert.
“There are complex issues that a normal arbitrator will not be able to decide competently.” These are situations where we would need double-hatting.”
The conversation covered a broad range of subjects, including what to anticipate from arbitrators in terms of their behaviour and the best procedures arbitrators use to control expenses.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru raised the issue of arbitration fees at the end.