London Maritime Arbitration
A. The arbitrator’s status
The relationship between the parties to an arbitration and the tribunal is most commonly analysed as a contract. In broad terms this analysis is appropriate, as an arbitrator’s jurisdiction is based on consensus and an arbitrator’s appointment is properly treated as an enforceable contract.1 The contractual analysis cannot, however, fully explain the role of an arbitrator.2 For example, regardless of the terms of his appointment he is under a duty to act fairly and impartially between the parties and to adopt procedures suitable to the circumstances of the case.3 An arbitrator also enjoys immunity from claims for breach of this duty or any contractual term of his appointment.4 Furthermore, the relationship between an arbitrator and the party who did not appoint him cannot easily be analysed as an orthodox contract concluded by acceptance of an offer.5 In understanding an arbitrator’s rights and duties it is necessary to consider his judicial role as well as his contractual relationship with the parties. In Jivraj v Hashwani
6 Lord Mance endorsed the view that the arbitrator’s engagement is a sui generis agreement.