Exploring the mindset of an arbitrator


The collective mentality of legal professionals is always similar in applying laws to facts. Advocates, professors, judges or arbitrators are all used to verifying the existence, the content and the relevance of rules and issues. Claims on solid grounds, precise fact finding, and convincing reasoning characterize the mentality of the legal profession. In short, legal professionals focus heavily on laws and facts while they are thinking, so that is the basis of legal mentality.

exploring-the-mindset-of-an-arbitratorIf something distinguishes arbitration from litigation and other dispute resolutions, could it be the outcome and methods of arbitrators’ mentality? Take a comparison to advocates’ mentality as an example. Advocates should of course advise in line with laws, respect the facts and uphold the integrity of justice. However, the advocates’ mentality is usually to fight for a bigger slice of pie or, in an adversarial situation, to fight for minimum losses and liability. It is the nature of advocacy.

Professors’ mentality is similar, but they are used to focusing more on theories in different cases. Professors compare different theories and rules, and then conclude an answer. As a result of different mentalities, advocates and professors may have different answers to matters and make different choices addressing the issues.

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Liang Huixing is the chairman of Beijing Arbitration Commission/Beijing International Arbitration Centre. BAC/BIAC’s case manager Terence Xu also contributed to the article