The Moderator and Speakers for the fifth panel of the Congress, scheduled to take place in the afternoon on Monday 16 April, will be:

Panel 5: Arbitration Challenged II: Party Autonomy in Choosing Decision‐Makers: Advantages and Drawbacks — Should it be Revisited?

Moderator: Gabrielle Kaufmann‐Kohler, Levy Kaufmann‐Kohler (Switzerland)

Speakers: Alfonzo Gomez‐Acebo, Baker & McKenzie Madrid SLP (Spain); Audley Sheppard, Clifford Chance LLP (New Zealand, Ireland); Ruth Stackpoole‐Moore, Harbour Litigation Funding (Australia); Natalie Y. Morris‐Sharma, International Legal Division, Minister of Law, Singapore (Singapore)

Session description: The opportunity to choose the decision‐maker has long been one of the leading reasons for choosing arbitration over litigation. Recent developments, however, reflect concerns about the limits and risks of abuse in the party‐appointment system: the frequency of challenges for so‐called “issue conflicts” or repeat appointments, studies demonstrating the prevalence of dissents by party appointees in favor of their appointing parties, proposals for standing tribunals and appellate mechanisms, and transparency initiatives, among others. Moreover, new players – who may be less familiar to established counsel guiding party appointments – could benefit from a system that provides\ greater institutional input or places certain constraints on party choice. Against this backdrop, what importance should be ascribed to the parties’ opportunity to choose the decision‐maker over other values, such as accountability and consistency? This panel will explore whether it is time to rethink the parties’ latitude to shape the tribunal, and if so, in what ways.