Reaffirming its role as trusted standard setter, ICC recently acted as Amicus Curiae in two separate hearings, to help determine what defines an arbitral institution and when an arbitrator should disclose information that may challenge his or her impartiality?
On 12 and 13 November, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom heard arguments in Halliburton v Chubb – a case raising questions on when an arbitrator should make a disclosure on circumstances which may give rise to justifiable doubts as to his/her impartiality.
Originating from a non-ICC arbitration, the case before the Supreme Court sought Amicus Curiae interventions from a number of third parties, granting one of only two oral interventions to the ICC Court.
During his intervention on behalf of ICC, Constantine Partasides QC said: “It is the ICC Court’s position that multiple appointments concerning the same or overlapping subject matter with only one common party, may, depending on the circumstances, give rise to an appearance of bias.”
Referring to ICC’s written submission, Mr Partasides highlighted the ICC Court’s role in safeguarding confidence in the arbitration process worldwide as well as the Court’s extensive experience in deciding challenges against arbitrators – having decided over 230 challenges in the last five years alone.
ICC as the global arbitration benchmark
ICC also sought leave to appear as Amicus Curiae in a high-profile case relating to a fake arbitral institution in Egypt, whose “Award” against energy company Chevron was refused recognition and enforcement in the United States district court of Oakland.
During the hearing, the Egyptian Supreme Court referred to a parliamentary debate held on the Egyptian Arbitration Law in which a delegate to the government had referred to the ICC Court as “a global benchmark for arbitration institutions”.
In its judgement, the Egyptian Supreme Court determined that an arbitral institution should be “like the Court of Arbitration in the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris.”
Secretary General of the ICC Court Alexander G. Fessas said: “Defining the Court as the International arbitration benchmark is a great boost. We remain committed to safeguarding the arbitral process in line with our purpose to advance peace prosperity and opportunity for all.”