Arbitrator selection and old school chums

By Huang Zhuoxin, CIETAC South China Sub-Commission
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Arbitrator-selection-and-old-school-chums,-首席仲裁员与由当事人选定的边裁是大学同学应当回避吗?
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Should the presiding arbitrator and the arbitrator nominated by the parties be challenged because of their schoolmate relationship? Article 34 of the Arbitration Law stipulates that, “An arbitrator shall be removed from the case, and the parties concerned shall have the right to request such removal, in any of the following circumstances:

(1) the arbitrator is a party or a close relative of a party, or his representative, in the case;

(2) the arbitrator has an interest in the case;

(3) the arbitrator has any other relationship with a party, or his representative in the case, which may affect the impartiality of the arbitration proceedings; or

(4) the arbitrator has met a party or his representative in private, or accepted a treat or gift from a party or his representative in the case.”

However, the Arbitration Law does not further clarify the extent to which “interest” constitutes a challenge, which may cause doubts in practice.

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