Can the appointment of an arbitrator be challenged? Can an arbitrator be disqualified? What is the procedure for such challenge?

International Arbitration

Egypt Small Flag Egypt

The Arbitration Law has a specific procedure for the recusal of arbitrators. According to Article 18 of the Arbitration Law an arbitrator cannot be recused unless there is an issue regarding his or her neutrality or impartiality. According to the Arbitration Law Article 19, a party may make an application for recusal of an arbitrator to the arbitral tribunal. The arbitrator then has 15 days to step down as arbitrator. If the arbitrator does not step down within 15 days of the application then the recusal application must be referred to the competent court for review. The competent court then decides on the application. The above procedure of referral is mandatory public policy. The Cairo Regional Center has objected to this Rule, and it has been subjected to challenges before the courts, where it was submitted that where parties have agreed to a set of rules including recusal procedures, recusal should be subject to these rules and not a court decision. The matter is still not clear. Absent an amendment to the Law, it is likely that the courts will continue to apply the mandatory statutory provision that provides that recusal is to be decided by the courts.

Austria Small Flag Austria

The procedure for the challenge of an arbitrator under Austrian arbitration law is comparable with the system of the Model Law. In general, therefore, before as well as after his/her selection, an arbitrator is required to disclose to the parties any circumstances that are likely to give rise to justifiable doubts as to his/her impartiality or independence or that could be in conflict with the parties’ agreement. Should such circumstances exist, any party may challenge an arbitrator within four weeks after becoming aware of them or after becoming aware of the constitution of the arbitral tribunal. Unless the challenged arbitrator resigns, the arbitral tribunals decides on the parties’ motion for challenge. Should the challenge be unsuccessful, in a second step the challenging party may invoke within four weeks a decision of the competent domestic court in that matter (Supreme Court). The arbitral proceedings may continue while such a motion is pending before the court.

In any case, a party cannot challenge an arbitrator in whose appointment it was involved, unless it became aware of the relevant circumstances after the appointment.

France Small Flag France

If a party becomes aware of a problematic situation, that party must challenge the arbitrator during the arbitration proceedings by following the procedure and time limits set out in the applicable arbitration or procedural rules (rather than waiting until the setting-aside stage). If the party waits until the setting aside stage to challenge the arbitrator, the French courts will consider that the party waived its right to challenge the award on the basis of a lack of independence and impartiality of the arbitrator (see Court of Cassation, First Civil Chamber, 25 June 2014, No. 11-26.529, Tecnimont).

An arbitrator can be challenged on any of the following grounds, which apply to both domestic and international arbitration:

• Any circumstance that can affect his or her independence or impartiality (Article 1456, CCP).
• Legal incapacity, refusal to act or resignation (Article 1457, CCP).
• Unanimous consent of the parties (Article 1458, CCP).
If the parties cannot agree on the removal of an arbitrator, the issue is resolved by the person in charge of administering the arbitration or, where there is no such person, by the juge d’appui (Articles 1456 and 1458, CCP). The time limit to file an application before the juge d’appui is one month following the disclosure or the discovery of the fact at issue.

An arbitrator can be challenged on any of the following grounds, which apply to both domestic and international arbitration:

• Any circumstance that can affect his or her independence or impartiality (Article 1456, CCP).
• Legal incapacity, refusal to act or resignation (Article 1457, CCP).
• Unanimous consent of the parties (Article 1458, CCP).

If the parties cannot agree on the removal of an arbitrator, the issue is resolved by the person in charge of administering the arbitration or, where there is no such person, by the juge d’appui (Articles 1456 and 1458, CCP). The time limit to file an application before the juge d’appui is one month following the disclosure or the discovery of the fact at issue.

Portugal Small Flag Portugal

The proceeding for challenging an arbitrator is provided by the Arbitration Act but the parties can agree on different provisions or refer the case to an arbitration institution. When they do not set the rules, the challenge of an arbitrator is ruled by the arbitral tribunal, which will include the challenged arbitrator. The Act further provides that if the arbitral tribunal rules to uphold the challenged arbitrator, the challenging party may appeal to a national court on this issue. While such a request is pending, the arbitral tribunal, including the challenged arbitrator, may continue the arbitral proceedings and render an award. If the arbitrator is, followed to a challenge, refused, the decision cannot be reverted to national court. The reason behind the distinction is related with the protection of independence and impartiality. If the arbitrator steps down there is no risk of lack of independence or impartiality.

Romania Small Flag Romania

The parties may agree on a procedure for challenging the appointment of an arbitrator and replacing the arbitrator. In the absence of an agreement, the arbitral tribunal might establish such procedure as it deems most appropriate. For example, if the arbitration agreement provides for institutional arbitration, the rules of the arbitral institution will govern the whole procedure and – in the majority of cases – will cover any issues related to the challenge or replacement of arbitrators.

In the absence of the above, the rules detailed below comprised in the Code of Civil Procedure will apply. Pursuant to the Code of Civil Procedure, the arbitrator may be replaced if:

• he or she is successfully challenged or abstains from settling the dispute
• the appointment is revoked (by parties’ agreement on the termination of his or her mandate); or
• he or she has withdrawn from the case waiving his mandate, has died or is otherwise prevented from serving, and the substitute arbitrator (if appointed) also cannot serve in the case.

In such cases, the arbitrator will be replaced according to the provisions for his appointment.

As for the challenge of the appointment of an arbitrator, an arbitrator may be challenged in cases of incompatibility, namely in case he finds himself in one of the situations of incompatibility provided for judges in the Code of Civil Procedure (for example, the arbitrator previously expressed his opinion in relation to the solution in the dispute he was appointed to settle, there are circumstances which justify the doubt that he, his spouse, his ancestors or descendants have a benefit related to the dispute, his spouse or previous spouse is a relative of maximum the fourth degree with one of the parties etc.) or for the following reasons which cast a doubt on the arbitrator’s independence and impartiality:

• he does not meet the qualifications or other requirements regarding arbitrators provided in the arbitration agreement;
• a legal person whose shareholder the arbitrator is or in whose governing bodies the arbitrator is bears an interest in the case;
• the arbitrator has employment relations or direct trade links with one of the parties, with a company controlled by one party or that is placed under common control with the latter
• the arbitrator has provided consultancy to one of the parties, assisted or represented one of the parties or testified in one of the earlier stages of the case.

A party may challenge an arbitrator whom it has appointed only for reasons of challenge occuring after the appointment or if the party becomes aware of such reasons only after the appointment. A person aware of a challenging reason regarding himself/herself shall be bound to inform the parties and the other arbitrators before accepting the office of arbitrator, or, should such reasons occur after his/her acceptance of the office as soon as he/she has knowledge of them. In this case, the arbitrator may not participate in the arbitral proceedings unless the parties, apprised thereupon, notify in writing that they do not intend to challenge the arbitrator. Even in this particular case, the arbitrator has the right to refrain from adjudicating the dispute, an abstination statement to this effect sufficing.

The challenge shall be made, under the sanction of forfeiture, within 10 days since the date the party has acknowledged the appointment of the arbitrator or, as the case may be, since the reason for challenge occured. The challenge is to be adjudicated within 10 days by the local courts, namely the tribunal whose jurisdiction covers the seat of the arbitration, after hearing the parties and the concerning arbitrator. The decision of the lcoal courts is not subject of appeal.

The arbitration rules of CICA provide for similar reasons for challenging an arbitrator, only the procedure for such a challenge being slightly different, as follows : The challenging petition shall be solved by the arbitral tribunal, in the absence of the challenged arbitrator, as he/she shall be replaced by the president of the Court of Arbitration or by an arbitrator appointed by the same. In case the challenging petition regards the sole arbitrator, it shall be settled by the president of the Court of Arbitration or by an arbitrator appointed by the same. When all members of an arbitral tribunal are challenged, the challenging petition shall be settled by an arbitral tribunal appointed by the president of the Court of Arbitration. If the challenging petition is accepted, the arbitrator, the presiding arbitrator or the sole arbitrator shall be appointed as provided by the rules of CICA.

In addition, the rules of CICA also provide for the dismissal of an arbitrator or of the presiding arbitrator. In this respect, Tte arbitrator or the presiding arbitrator shall be dismissed from a certain dispute in case of one of the following actions, in relation to the gravity of such action:

• should the arbitrator, after acceptance, unduly abandon their duty of arbitrator;
• should the arbitrator, without solid reason, repeatedly fail to participate to the hearings or commit other acts that lead to unjustified delays of the settlement of the dispute, or fail to render the award within the time limit provided by the arbitration agreement or rules of CICA
• should the arbitrator fail to observe the confidentiality of the arbitration, by intentionally publishing or disclosing without the parties’ authorisation data of which they took knowledge as arbitrator.

In such cases, CICA rules of arbitration stipulate that the dismissal shall be decided by the Court of Arbitration Board upon the proposal of any of the members of the Board, hearing the arbitrator whose dismissal is required / proposed, the member making the proposal not having the right to vote. When committing one of the above mentioned actions in bad faith or gross negligence, the arbitrators shall be liable to damages within the fee received.

Sweden Small Flag Sweden

The appointment of an arbitrator can be challenged based on lack of impartiality, and in rare circumstances, for unduly delaying the proceedings. Unless the parties have agreed otherwise, e.g. to apply institutional rules, requests for removal of an arbitrator will, in the first place, be tried by the tribunal. If the tribunal denies the request, a party may apply to a district court for removal of the arbitrator.

UAE Small Flag UAE

Under the CPC, arbitrator appointments can be challenged on the same grounds for recusal and disqualification of judges, namely:

  • the existence of a certain disqualifying relationship between the arbitrator and one of the parties;
  • conflicting interests with other proceedings;
  • arbitrator bias;
  • a deliberate failure to comply with the arbitration agreement; or
  • a deliberate neglect of the arbitrator’s duties.

Arbitrator challenges are submitted to the curial court, and the court’s decisions are subject to appeal. The DIAC and ADCCAC Rules provide further grounds for arbitrator disqualification.

In the DIFC and the ADGM, a party may only challenge an arbitrator if circumstances exist that give rise to justifiable doubts as to his/her impartiality or independence or if he/she does not possess qualifications agreed by the parties. A party may only challenge an arbitrator it appointed or in whose appointment that party participated for reasons of which such party becomes aware after the appointment. The same provision is found in Article 10.3 of the DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Rules.

The parties are free to agree on a procedure for challenge. However, absent such agreement, a party wishing to challenge an arbitrator can send a written statement of the reasons for challenge to the tribunal. If the challenge procedure is unsuccessful, the challenging party may request the DIFC Court of First Instance or the ADGM Court of First Instance, as the case may be, to decide on the challenge. The Court’s decision is not subject to any appeal.

Switzerland Small Flag Switzerland

The appointment of an arbitrator may be challenged based on three grounds (art. 180 para 1 PILA and art. 367 CPC), namely, (i) if the appointed arbitrator does not have the qualification agreed upon by the parties, (ii) if the rules of arbitration agreed upon by the parties provide a ground for challenging the arbitrator, and (iii) if circumstances giving rise to reasonable doubts as to the arbitrator's independence exist.

A party that wishes to challenge an arbitrator it itself nominated, or in whose appointment it participated, may only do so on grounds that have come to its attention after the appointment. The grounds for challenge must be notified to the arbitral tribunal and the other party without delay.

In case the parties have not agreed on a procedure for challenging an arbitrator (including by means of referring to institutional rules of arbitration), the competent court at the seat of the arbitral tribunal shall take a final decision (art. 180 para 3 PILA).

New Zealand Small Flag New Zealand

The grounds on and procedure by which a party may challenge an arbitrator are specified in articles 12 and 13 of Schedule 1 of the Act. These provisions have been applied by New Zealand courts. There is no New Zealand institution that has widely considered arbitrator challenges and, as yet, no New Zealand court has applied the IBA Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest in International Arbitration in considering a challenge.

If a party does not challenge an appointment at the point when the arbitrator discloses his or her interest at the beginning of the hearing, that party cannot then seek to use bias as a ground to set aside an unsatisfactory award at a later date (Pirirakau v Ngata Taka [2015] NZCA 176).

Malaysia Small Flag Malaysia

Challenges against arbitrator appointments are confined to limited and exhaustive statutory grounds, namely where:

  • The circumstances give rise to justifiable doubts as to the challenged arbitrator’s impartiality or independence; or
  • The challenged arbitrator does not possess qualifications agreed to by the parties.

The AA contemplates that a party may challenge an arbitrator appointed by it, or in whose appointment that party has participated. Such a challenge may be mounted only for reasons which that party becomes aware of after the appointment has been made (section 14(4), AA). This logic is consistent with the waiver of a party’s right to object under section 7, AA.
Parties are free to decide on the applicable challenge procedure subject to certain qualifications (section 15(1), AA). The agreed procedure must grant equal treatment to both parties with each party having a fair and reasonable opportunity of presenting its case (section 20, AA).

Absent an agreed challenge procedure, the statutory challenge procedure will apply. A statutory challenge against an arbitrator is a two-stage process. Parties must first challenge the impugned arbitrator before the arbitral tribunal itself. This first stage is initiated by a communication of a written statement of the reasons for the challenge to the arbitral tribunal. This has to be communicated within 15 days, unless otherwise agreed, after a party becomes aware of the constitution of the arbitral tribunal or of any reasons referred to in section 14(3), AA.

The second stage is an appeal against an unsuccessful challenge to the High Court (section 15(3), AA). An application for appeal must be made within 30 days after having received notice of the decision of the arbitral tribunal rejecting the challenge. The decision of the High Court is non-appealable (section 15(5), AA).

Pending the High Court’s decision, the arbitral tribunal, including the challenged arbitrator, may continue the arbitral proceedings and make an award (section 15(4), AA).

United States Small Flag United States

The FAA does not contain specific provisions for challenging or removing arbitrators. In light of the absence of an express statutory provision and the general pro-arbitration federal policy, courts generally will not hear challenges to an arbitrator’s appointment before the award is rendered. In a proceeding to set aside an arbitral award, however, U.S. courts exercise broad authority to vacate the award on the grounds of partiality, corruption, or misconduct of an arbitrator. But if a party failed to object in a timely manner to an arbitrator’s qualifications or alleged bias before the issuance of the award, the party may be deemed to have waived the challenge.

On occasion, courts have applied general contract principles, such as changed circumstances, mutual mistake, or fraudulent inducement, to reform a contract prior to the award where the appointment procedure specified in the contract would lead to a plainly unsuitable arbitrator.

Typically, pre-award challenges to arbitrators will occur before the appointing authority rather than a court. Institutional rules generally provide for the challenge and replacement of arbitrators on such grounds as partiality or bias, incapacity, failure to participate in the proceedings, failure to meet the qualifications agreed to by the parties, and death. They also provide the specific procedures to be followed, including deadlines for raising a challenge and the procedure for installing a replacement arbitrator.

Singapore Small Flag Singapore

Under the IAA, arbitrator appointments can be challenged on the grounds of impartiality or independence, or if the arbitrator does not possess qualifications agreed to by the parties. IAA, First Schedule, Article 12. An arbitrator may be challenged only if circumstances exist that give rise to justifiable doubts as to his or her impartiality or independence, or if he or she does not possess qualifications agreed to by the parties. A party may challenge an arbitrator appointed by it, or in whose appointment the party has participated, only for reasons of which the party becomes aware after the appointment has been made.
The parties are free to agree on a procedure for challenging an arbitrator. IAA, First Schedule, Article 13(1). Failing such agreement, a party who intends to challenge an arbitrator shall, within fifteen days after becoming aware of the constitution of the arbitral tribunal or after becoming aware of the circumstance in question, send a written statement of the reasons for the challenge to the arbitral tribunal. Unless the challenged arbitrator withdraws from his or her office or the other party agrees to the challenge, the arbitral tribunal shall decide on the challenge. IAA, First Schedule, Article 13(2). If a challenge of an arbitrator is not successful, the challenging party may request the High Court in Singapore to decide on the challenge. IAA, First Schedule, Article 13(3).

Brazil Small Flag Brazil

As seen in item 12 above, according to the caput of Article 14 of Law nº 9.703/96, are prevented from working as arbitrators the persons who have with the parties or with the dispute brought before them some of the relationships that characterize cases of impediment or suspicion of judges, applying, where applicable, the same duties and responsibilities as provided in the Civil Procedure Code.

Regarding this aspect, there is impediment of the judge, being forbidden to perform his functions in the lawsuit: (i) where intervened as agent of the party, officiated as expert, worked as member of the Public Attorney’s Office or testified as a witness; (ii) that appreciate in another degree of jurisdiction, rendering a decision; (iii) when it is postulating, as a public defender, attorney or member of Public Attorney’s Office, his spouse or partner, or any relative, consanguineous or by affinity, in straight or collateral line until the third degree, inclusive; (iv) when it is party to the proceedings himself, his spouse or partner, or relative, consanguineous or by affinity, in straight or collateral line until the third degree, inclusive; (v) when partner or member if direction or administration of legal entity that is party in the lawsuit; (vi) when presumptive heir, donee or employer of either party; (vii) in which figures as party an educational institution with which has an employment relationship or arising from a contract of service; (viii) in which figures as party a client of law firm of his spouse, partner or relative, consanguineous or by affinity, in straight or collateral line until the third degree, inclusive, even if sponsored by another attorney office; and (ix) when promoting lawsuit against the party or his attorney.

There is suspicion of the judge (i) close friend or enemy of any of the parties or their lawyers; (ii) which receive gifts from people who are interested in the lawsuit before or after the beginning of the process, which advise either party about the lawsuit object or that provide means to meet the expenses of the lawsuit; (iii) when either party is a creditor or debtor of his spouse or partner or their relatives, in straight line until the third degree, inclusive; and (iv) interested in the trial of the lawsuit in favor of either party.

According to paragraph 1 of article 14 of Law nº 9.307/96, the persons appointed to act as an arbitrator has the duty to disclose, before the acceptance of the function, any fact that denotes justified doubts about his impartiality and independence.

The paragraph 2 of Article 14 of Law nº 9.307/96 provides that, in principle, the arbitrator may only be refused by reasons occurred after his appointment. However, the arbitrator may be refused by reason prior to his appointment when (i) is not appointed directly by the party; or (ii) the reason for their refusal is only known after his appointment.

According to Article 15 of Law nº 9.307/96, the interested party in argue the arbitrator's refusal must present the adequate exception (in the first opportunity to present a manifestation), directly to the arbitrator or to the president of Arbitral Court, deducing their reasons and presenting relevant evidence. Accepted the exception, the suspect or impeded arbitrator will be removed and replaced by the substitute arbitrator indicated in the compromissum, if existent. If there is no substitute indicated for the arbitrator, the rules of the arbitral institution or specialized entity shall be applied, if the parties have invoked in the arbitration convention. Nothing providing the arbitration convention and not getting the parties to agree on the appointment of the arbitrator being replaced, shall the interested party proceed in the form provide in Article 7 of Law nº 9.307/96 (mentioned above), unless the parties have stated expressly in the arbitration convention does not accept a substitute arbitrator.

Canada Small Flag Canada

The appointment of an arbitrator can only be challenged if the circumstances give rise to justifiable doubts about his or her impartiality or independence or if he or she does not possess the agreed on qualifications.

Pursuant to the Model Law, the parties may agree to a procedure for challenging an arbitrator. Without an agreement, the challenging party must make a written statement of reasons for challenging within 15 days of learning of the appointment or learning of the basis for the challenge. The tribunal then must decide on the challenge. If the challenge fails, the challenging party may request a determination by a court within 30 days of the tribunal’s decision. While the court’s decision is pending, the tribunal proceedings may proceed with the challenged arbitrator.

Panama Small Flag Panama

The appointment of an arbitrator can be challenged only if circumstances exist that give rise to justifiable doubts as to his/her impartiality or independence. Moreover, an arbitrator can be disqualified if he/she does not possess the qualifications agreed to by the parties.

Moreover, a party may challenge or request the disqualification of an arbitrator it has appointed, or in whose appointment it has participated, only for reasons of which such party becomes aware after the appointment.

Failing an agreement by the parties on a procedure to challenge or disqualify an arbitrator, Panamanian Law includes provisions governing this matter.

A party who intends to challenge or disqualify an arbitrator, within fifteen (15) working days after becoming aware of the constitution of the arbitration tribunal or after becoming aware of any circumstance that is a proper ground for a challenge, shall send a written statement of the reasons for the challenge to the arbitration tribunal.

Unless the challenged arbitrator withdraws from its position or the other party agrees to the challenge, it shall be decided by the arbitration tribunal.

In the case of a sole arbitrator or in the case the arbitration tribunal is unable to decide on the challenge within ten (10) working days after receiving the request, the challenge shall be decided, at the request of any party, by a local or foreign arbitration institution pursuant to its rules within fifteen (15) working days after receiving the relevant request.

While the challenge is pending, the arbitration tribunal, including the challenged arbitrator, may continue the arbitral proceedings and even render an award.

The decision on the challenge is not subject to appeal.

Spain Small Flag Spain

The appointment can be challenged when the arbitrator lacks at any moment of the arbitration proceedings independence or impartiality.

The procedure basically provides that any party must challenge the appointment within 15 days after gaining knowledge of the reason that affects the impartiality or independence of the arbitrator.

Turkey Small Flag Turkey

Local Law specifies the disqualification/challenging provisions of the arbitrators. The arbitrators can be challenged, in case (i) the arbitrator does not have the required qualifications agreed by the parties or (ii) there is a reason for challenge under the arbitration procedure agreed by the parties or (iii) there are justifiable reasons for questioning the impartiality of the arbitrator. Parties are free to determine the challenging procedure of the arbitrator. The relevant party may submit its written request to the other party regarding the challenge within thirty days as of the date that they become aware on the challenge reason (thirty days period is for international arbitrations regulated under the Law no. 4686, this period is two weeks for the domestic arbitrations regulated under the Law no. 6100). The relevant party submits its challenging request and its justification to the arbitral tribunal (for one or more arbitrators). In case this request is rejected, the relevant party applies to the court within thirty days (one month for the Law no. 6100) in order to request to cancel this decision or decide on the challenging request. In case the request is for challenging the sole arbitrator or the arbitral tribunal or the majority of the arbitral tribunal, it can only be claimed before the court; and the court decision is final and cannot be appealed. The same procedure on the appointment of the previous arbitrator is applied for the new one to be appointed.

Germany Small Flag Germany

Arbitrators may be challenged or disqualified. For doing so, the parties may agree on a specific procedure. Likewise, arbitral institutions usually have provisions in their rules concerning the challenge of arbitrators. In the absence of such specific agreement or institutional rules (e.g. in ad hoc proceedings), the arbitral tribunal itself or a state court decides on the challenge.

To challenge an arbitrator, the challenging party must rely on circumstances which give rise to justifiable doubts to the impartiality, independence or the agreed qualifications of the arbitrator. An arbitrator’s mandate might be terminated, depending on the outcome of the challenge proceedings.

Italy Small Flag Italy

The appointment of an arbitrator can be challenged if the arbitrator lacks the qualifications expressly required by the parties in the arbitration clause, or in the case of conflict of interest and when his/her independence and impartiality cannot be guaranteed.

The challenge is filed with the President of the Tribunal of the place where the arbitration proceeding has its seat, within ten days after the appointment of the arbitrator has been notified to the other party or from the date when the party discovered the ground for the challenge, if later. The Tribunal, having heard the challenged arbitrator, issues a non-appealable order.

Moreover, unless otherwise agreed by the parties, if an arbitrator fails in, or delays, the performance of its duties, the parties (or a third party, if it is provided for by the arbitration clause) can agree to replace him/her. In addition, if the arbitrator does not perform his/her duties within 15 days from receiving a formal notice, each party may ask the President of the Tribunal where the arbitration proceeding has its seat to remove the arbitrator and to appoint a replacement.

United Kingdom Small Flag United Kingdom

Yes (section 24). Parties may apply to court (under Part 62 of the CPR) to remove an arbitrator if they (a) give justifiable doubts to their impartiality, (b) do not possess the requisite qualifications, (c) are or become incapacitated, (d) refuse or fail to properly conduct proceedings or make an award.

Parties may also (section 23) (a) agree the circumstances upon which an arbitrator’s authority shall be revoked or (b) subscribe to prescribed rules of an arbitral institution.

Ireland Small Flag Ireland

The appointment of an arbitrator can be challenged only if circumstances exist that give rise to justifiable doubts as to his impartiality or independence, or if he does not possess qualifications agreed to by the parties.

The parties are free to agree on a procedure for challenging an arbitrator. Failing such agreement, a party who intends to challenge an arbitrator shall, within fifteen days after becoming aware of the constitution of the arbitral tribunal or after becoming aware of any of the above-mentioned issues, send a written statement of the reasons for the challenge to the arbitral tribunal. Unless the challenged arbitrator withdraws from his office or the other party agrees to the challenge, the arbitral tribunal will decide on the challenge.

However, if a challenge is rejected by an arbitral tribunal, the challenging party may apply to the High Court for a final decision on the challenge within 30 days after having received notice of the arbitral tribunal’s decision rejecting the challenge. There is no appeal from a decision of the High Court on a challenge to an arbitrator.

Poland Small Flag Poland

The arbitration law provides two grounds for challenging an arbitrator: lack of impartiality or independence, and lack of the qualifications agreed by the parties. The party that appointed the arbitrator may challenge the arbitrator only if the party became aware of the grounds for challenge after the appointment.

The parties are free to agree on the procedure for challenging arbitrators. Usually the rules of the arbitration institution provide their own procedures for challenging arbitrators. For example, under the Rules of the Court of Arbitration at the Polish Chamber of Commerce, the Arbitral Council of that institution decides on the challenge. The rules or the parties’ agreement may not however waive the right to challenge the arbitrator in court.

Under the default procedure, the party seeking to challenge an arbitrator must notify all arbitrators and the opposing party of the grounds. If the arbitrator does not resign or is not removed by the parties within two weeks, the party may seek removal by the court. An order of the court denying a challenge to an arbitrator is subject to an interlocutory appeal.

Cyprus Small Flag Cyprus

A party may challenge the appointment of an Arbitrator and seek his removal at the time the Tribunal is constituted or later, if new facts come to light regarding his impartiality or independence. In accordance with the provisions of section 12 of the ICA Law, in international arbitrations, an Arbitrator may be challenged, where circumstances exist that give rise to justifiable doubts as to his impartiality or independence, or where the Arbitrator does not possess the qualifications agreed by the parties. A party may challenge an Arbitrator appointed by him, or in whose appointment he has participated, only for reasons of which he
becomes aware after the appointment has been made.

Pursuant to section 13 of the ICA Law, the parties are free to agree on the procedure for challenging an Arbitrator, and in the event where no such procedure is agreed, the section provides that a party shall within fifteen days after becoming aware of any circumstances that give rise to justifiable doubts as to his impartiality or independence, or if he fails to possess the qualifications agreed by the parties, make a proposal for challenging the Arbitrator to the arbitral tribunal. The arbitral tribunal shall decide on the challenge unless the challenged Arbitrator withdraws from his position or the other party agrees to the challenge. In the event
that the challenging procedure agreed by the parties or the abovementioned default procedure is not successful, the challenging party may request that the national court decide on the challenge. This decision will be final.

Furthermore on the basis of section 14 of the ICA Law, the reference of an arbitrator is terminated either by his own request or with an agreement of the parties or with the leave of the Court, where it has been determined that the arbitrator became de jure or de facto unable
to perform his functions as an arbitrator or in the event that he fails to act without undue delay.

In relation to domestic arbitrations, section 13 of Cap.4 provides that a Court may, upon an application made by any party, remove an Arbitrator or an umpire who fails to act with the appropriate promptitude in the entering into and the continuance of the reference and the issuance of his decision. Additionally, section 20 allows a Court to remove an Arbitrator or an umpire where he has misconducted himself or the proceedings.

We are not aware of any statistical data portraying an increase in the number of challenges of the appointment of arbitrators in Cyprus.

Updated: October 17, 2017