Summary: The basic rule underpinning most arbitration laws is that an arbitrator must be impartial and independent of the parties.
In many instances, the relationship between the arbitrator and the parties or counsel gives rise to potential problems regarding independence. These issues have been dealt with extensively in material such as the IBA Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest in International Arbitration.
A different issue is that of partiality or bias in the conduct of the arbitration itself. This has been dealt with to a certain extent in the IBA Guidelines on Party Representation in International Arbitration (2013), although, as the title indicates, the focus is on the conduct of parties.
This article examines issues relating to allegations of bias in the conduct of the arbitration and the effect on the resulting awards.