Understanding International Arbitration
1. Parties are free to choose their own arbitral procedure, although there are limits
Arbitration statutes now almost universally adopt a “hands off” approach to arbitral procedure: rather than specifying in detail how an arbitration must function for any resulting award to be enforceable, they recognise that questions of procedure are for the parties to agree on, so long as the fundamental fairness of the proceedings is maintained. Governments ultimately have every right to tell parties how they must arbitrate if they want their award to be enforceable, but the justification for allowing parties to agree on their preferred procedure is a practical one: the arbitral process will work better that way.