AIAC WEBINAR – Globalising Arbitration – Enhancing Racial and Ethnic Diversity
Over the years, arbitration has become the preferred dispute resolution mechanism for cross-border disputes given not only its enforceability but also its malleable nature. One element that is extremely important to many parties is the ability to select their arbitrator. These arbitrators are meant to be distinct from judges in that the parties can choose
someone with the background and experience suitable for their specific dispute. Whilst having a particular technical background or expertise within a particular area of law might be necessary, it is equally relevant to consider the cultural background that would make an arbitrator especially fit for a specific dispute. However, more often than not, arbitrators have been part of the group deemed “pale, male, and stale.” In 2018,
American rapper Jay-Z highlighted the lack of African-American arbitrators on the American Arbitration Association’s (AAA) panel, which sparked a discussion on the importance of arbitral institutions providing parties with a panel of diverse arbitrators. This panel will discuss their experience within international arbitration, the importance of having diverse arbitrators, the responsibilities of the various stakeholders within arbitration (parties, counsel, institutions, etc.), and various initiatives aimed at enhancing racial and ethnic diversity.