The great majority of international investment arbitrations are decided by a three-member arbitral panel, where each party selects one arbitrator, and the presiding arbitrator is selected either by agreement of the parties, the party-appointed arbitrators, or, more often, by a neutral appointing authority. Their selection is not only a characteristic feature of international investment arbitration, but also one of the most important and delicate acts taken by the parties during the proceedings. Indeed, as frequent arbitrator Professor William W. Park noted, while “in real estate the three key elements are ‘location, location, location,’ . . . in arbitration the applicable trinity is ‘arbitrator, arbitrator, arbitrator.” The selection of arbitrators is made after serious and in-depth research by counsel, in consultation with the client. It is essential that parties nominate arbitrators that are knowledgeable, capable, and can work together. There is a lot at stake: the qualifications and arbitral skills of the arbitrators can have significant impact on the conduct and development of the arbitration and, ultimately, on the award and its enforcement. Arbitrators are the adjudicators of essentially all the disputes between the parties. During the course of the proceedings, they will have the power to decide both substantive and procedural issues relevant to parties’ dispute. The quality of the arbitrators is essential for a successful arbitration and, more generally, for the reputation of the arbitration process itself. This chapter first describes how, and assesses who, to select as arbitrators, it then reviews challenges procedures, and finally explains how arbitrators’ vacancies are filled.

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Litigating International Investment Disputes: A Practitioner's Guide, was published by Brill | Nijhoff. The chapter on arbitrators is from: http://www.brill.com/products/book/litigating-international-investment-disputes.