Is diversity in the choice of arbitrators and counsel (e.g. gender, age, origin) actively promoted in your country? If so, how?

International Arbitration (4th edition)

Argentina Small Flag Argentina

Yes. Diversity is promoted in Argentina by some institutions and associations created for such purpose, such as Woman Way in Arbitration.

Austria Small Flag Austria

VIAC is actively promoting diversity in the selection of arbitrators and has signed the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge. It may be noted that VIAC is now headed by two female professionals as Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General.

Bulgaria Small Flag Bulgaria


United States Small Flag United States

Yes. The U.S. is at the forefront of promoting diversity among both arbitrators and counsel. For example, the American Bar Association recently adopted a resolution urging “providers of domestic and international dispute resolution to expand their rosters with minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and persons of differing sexual orientations and gender identities (‘diverse neutrals’) and to encourage the selection of diverse neutrals”. See American Bar Association, Res. 105. It also publishes statistics on diverse appointments. Many U.S. law firms and arbitral institutions are also signatories to the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge, and JAMS recently added an inclusion rider to its Clause Workbook (“The parties agree that, wherever practicable, they will seek to appoint a fair representation of diverse arbitrators (considering gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation), and will request administering institutions to include a fair representation of diverse candidates on their rosters and list of potential arbitrator appointees.”). Additionally, ArbitralWomen, a non-profit that promotes women and diversity in international dispute resolution, recently launched a Diversity Toolkit, which was supported by funding from the AAA-ICDR, that offers training to help international dispute resolution professionals “see the role played by biases and explore ways to address and overcome bias.” Another initiative launched last year, the Equity Project, provides financing for commercial litigation and international arbitration matters led by women.

UAE Small Flag UAE

The population of the UAE is a confluence of cultures, with professionals stemming from a range of jurisdictions, ethnicities and differing legal traditions, working in a single market. The arbitration community reflects this diversity both as counsel and arbitrators.

The UAE further recognises the benefits of developing the new generation of young arbitrators when it previously launched “DIAC 40”. An initiative to support the development of younger arbitrators in the MENA area.

United Kingdom Small Flag United Kingdom

Many UK firms, institutions and individuals have signed the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge, which is intended to improve the profile of women in arbitration with a view to securing the appointment of more women as arbitrators, on an equal opportunity basis. The LCIA has also signed the Equal Representation Arbitration Pledge and publishes yearly updates with diversity statistics. Last year, 23% of arbitrators appointed were women. In 2018, the LCIA Court appointed non-British arbitrators 57% of the time, compared to the parties and the co-arbitrators, who appointed non-British arbitrators 20% and 27% of the time respectively.

Singapore Small Flag Singapore

While the promotion of diversity in the choice of arbitrators and counsel has been promoted more informally than formally in Singapore, a number of arbitral institutions and other stakeholders have engaged in public initiatives to highlight diversity as an issue in arbitration. SIAC, for example, promoted discussion of the topic ‘Tribunals with women arbitrators make better decisions’ at a YSIAC Debate event in 2018. SIAC also sponsored a Women in Arbitration seminar in the context of a discussion series for recent developments in international arbitration at around the same time. While the ICC has just recently developed its physical presence in Singapore, it did report an increase in the appointment of women arbitrators in 2016, and has continued to emphasize the importance of racial and gender diversity in international arbitration through diversity of selection in counsel, chairpersons, and other leadership roles in Singapore.

South Korea Small Flag South Korea

Firms and arbitration practitioners have taken steps to promote diversity in the arbitration field. South Korea is a signatory to the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge. In the recent years, firms have organized “Women in Arbitration” panel discussions and networking events in Seoul.

France Small Flag France

France does not expressly promote diversity in the choice of arbitrators and counsel.

However, several institutions have signed the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge, calling for an increase in the number of women appointed as arbitrators with the goal of full parity. Some of the members are law firms with offices in France or arbitration institutions such as the LCIA, HKIAC, SIAC and ICC. The ICC has revealed a surge in the number of women appointed and confirmed by it, from 136 in 2015 to 273 in 2018 (statistics available on the ICC Website).

As far as the choice of counsel is concerned, this issue has not been dealt with and seems difficult to address from a regulatory perspective since the parties remain entirely free to choose their counsel.

Germany Small Flag Germany

While national and international initiatives for more diversity are gaining support in Germany, neither the DIS Arbitration Rules nor German arbitration law provide for specific rules, provisions dealing with the diversity of either the arbitrators, experts or counsel.

India Small Flag India

The prties are free to choose their arbitrators and Counsel. However, while choosing Arbitrator, the bar is mandated in section 12(5) of the Arbitration Act read with Schedule V and VII.

Indonesia Small Flag Indonesia

To our knowledge, no explicit measures have been taken by arbitral institutions to promote diversity. However, the requirements for arbitrators under the Arbitration Law and BANI’s list of arbitrators suggest that there are no restriction in respect of gender or origin for arbitrators in Indonesia.

Liechtenstein Small Flag Liechtenstein

No initiatives have been taken in that respect so far.

Malaysia Small Flag Malaysia

The AIAC and members of the Malaysian Bar have continuously promoted diversity in the arbitration industry.

Additionally, it is worth noting that Section 3A of the Arbitration Act allows for parties to arbitration proceedings to be represented by any legal representative of their own choice.

Egypt Small Flag Egypt

According to the EAL, there are no restrictions on the choice of arbitrators, as to their gender, nationality, age (provided that he or she has attained the age of majority). (article 16) However, more recently, diversity initiatives have been actively promoted in Egypt and the CRCICA has signed the Pledge for Equal Representation in Arbitration in 2017, which resulted in an increase in the number of female arbitrators appointed by the Centre (11 female arbitrators in 2018), as well as the number of arbitrators under the age of 40 (13 arbitrators under the age of 40). (Ismail Selim, Interviews with our Editors: Cairo in the Spotlight with Dr Ismail Selim, Director at CRCICA, Kluwer Arbitration Blog, published on 17 July 2019, available online at

As to counsel, the same applies, as there are no restrictions as to the gender, age or origin.

Ecuador Small Flag Ecuador

Not through concrete actions to reform laws or arbitral regulations, however, there has been a great activity to promote equality at the academic and doctrinal level.

Czech Republic Small Flag Czech Republic

No. We are not aware of such tendencies.

Cyprus Small Flag Cyprus

The organisations that support arbitrators in Cyprus such as CEDRAC or CIArbs Cyprus Branch, are of different racial, social, age and origin backgrounds, but other than that there is no actively promoted diversification.

Chile Small Flag Chile

Chile must clearly continue working on the matter, particularly regarding gender equality. Nevertheless, there have been valuable improvements. For instance, CAM Santiago has recently appointed 26 new arbitrators for its roster, all of them women. In addition, it has announced that it will continue working on diminishing gender inequality in its future actions.

Canada Small Flag Canada

Efforts are being undertaken at various levels to promote diversity in the choice of arbitrators and counsel. Examples of such efforts include diversity and unconscious bias training facilitated by arbitration organizations, proactive discussion about diversity issues in conferences and panel discussions organized by different stakeholders, and individuals and organizations signing on to the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge.

Mexico Small Flag Mexico

There are no specific actions of promotion regarding diversity in the choice of arbitrators and counsel, nevertheless, diversity and equality are topics that are well implemented under Mexican legislation matters, especially because there are laws against discrimination that also protect human rights.

In this sense, no limitative clauses exist regarding gender, race, sexual preference or religion and the parties are free to choose anyone with the required qualifications and necessary experience.

Nigeria Small Flag Nigeria

This diversity is not promoted. Arbitrators and counsel are appointed based on their credentials, experience, credibility and availability to carry out the task.

Norway Small Flag Norway

There is a growing recognition in the Norwegian arbitration community that one should seek more diversity, however, we are not aware of any statistics evidencing any specific results.

Philippines Small Flag Philippines

There is no active promotion of diversity in arbitrators and counsel. The PDRCI and the DOJ- OADR have their respective lists of accredited arbitrators.

Saudi Arabia Small Flag Saudi Arabia

There are no limitations under Saudi arbitration laws on who can serve as an arbitrator or counsel in terms of gender, age, or national origin. 2016 witnessed the appointment of the first female arbitrator in Saudi legal history. The opposing party had objected to the appointment of a Saudi female lawyer as an arbitrator, but the court overseeing the formation of the arbitral panel dismissed the objection on the basis of her gender and moved ahead with her appointment.

Taiwan Small Flag Taiwan

Although diversity is not being actively promoted, based on the arbitrators that the arbitration institutions in Taiwan have disclosed on their websites, there are arbitrators of different sexes, ages and nationalities for the parties to select from each industry sector.

Switzerland Small Flag Switzerland

Gender- and other diversity in international arbitration is actively promoted by the Swiss Chambers' Arbitration Institution. In particular, gender diversity is a debated topic. According to the statistics for the year 2015 issued by the Swiss Chambers' Arbitration Institution, 47% of the arbitrators appointed by the court were women. However, the percentage of women appointed by the parties or the co-arbitrators amounted to only 5%.

In 2016 the Swiss Chambers' Arbitration Institution has signed the "Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge" committed to improving the representation of women in arbitration.

Greece Small Flag Greece

No. It is not even identified as an issue.

Turkey Small Flag Turkey

The importance of diversity in the selection of arbitrators has long been a topic of discussion in major arbitration events in Turkey, yet there is no formal manifestation to this end. On a closer look to the approach of the institutions leading by example, co-president of ICC Turkey Arbitration Commission, the first ever secretary-general of ISTAC and the current secretary-general of ITOTAM are all female.

Updated: January 20, 2020