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The authority of a truncated arbitral tribunal: straight path or puzzle?

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The situation of a truncated arbitral tribunal may be caused by various factors. It may arise when a three-member tribunal during the course of the arbitral proceedings and before the rendering of the award does not remain the same at some point, meaning that one of the members of the tribunal dies, resigns or fails to attend the proceedings or deliberations leaving the two other members at the helm. In such a situation the questions arise: what is the authority of a truncated tribunal? Can it go ahead and render a valid award? These issues have arisen frequently before arbitral tribunals and also before national courts at the stage of enforcement of arbitral awards and they have had a rough ride at both levels. Arbitrators are often baffled with the prospect of the enforcement of their awards whilst exercising their authority as a truncated arbitral tribunal in the sense of the proverbial puzzle: ‘to be or not to be, that is the question’, i.e. whether or not to exercise the authority to go ahead with the arbitration and render an award. The purpose here is to examine the issues in light of modern international arbitration law and practice as well as most recent relevant domestic case law on arbitration and to recommend some pragmatic approaches for the safe course of action.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalKluwer Arbitration Blog
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2012

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