New approaches to the neutrality of arbitrators in international commercial arbitration

Available in Russian

Author: Elena Billebro

DOI: 10.21128/2226-2059-2016-4-42-53

Keywords: Arbitrator; arbitrator’s nationality; independence and impartiality; international commercial arbitration; national neutrality; neutrality


The article concerns the notions of “national neutrality” and “international mindedness” of arbitrators in international commercial arbitration. The following issues are being under research in the article: what influence a nationality of an arbitrator has on a party’s choice of an arbitrator in international commercial arbitration; what are the contemporary rules on national neutrality of arbitrators. The issue of the nationality of arbitrators in international commercial arbitration is commonly discussed through the angle and in terms of independence and impartiality of arbitrators. Already back in the 80’s one of the renowned authorities in the field of international commercial arbitration and an experienced arbitrator himself, professor P. Lalive submitted that an arbitrator in international commercial arbitration must have a truly “international way of thinking” or “international mindedness”. However, the author of this article argues that in the year of 2016 these words are still relevant and the presence of an “international mindedness” of arbitrators hardly became a standard in the field of international commercial arbitration. In this paper, the author submits that too much attention in international commercial arbitration is paid to the formal rules of national neutrality and there is a need to re-direct attention from the well-established existing rules of national neutrality of arbitrators towards the issue of the so called “international mindedness” of arbitrators. The article suggests that apart from the existence of the contemporary rules on the neutrality of arbitrators, there is a need to promote and implement a new standard of “international way of thinking”, “international mindedness” for arbitrators in international commercial arbitration.

About the author: Elena Billebro – LL.M, advocate, the Moscow Chambers of Advocates (e-mail:

Citation: Billebro E. V. (2016) Novye podkhody k otsenke neytral'nosti arbitrov v mezhdunarodnom kommercheskom arbitrazhe. [New approaches to the neutrality of arbitrators in international commercial arbitration]. Mezhdunarodnoe pravosudie, no. 4, pp. 42–53. (In Russian).


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