UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Arbitrator Intelligence (AI), founded by Penn State Law professor Catherine Rogers, has been nominated for the Global Arbitration Review’s annual award for the best innovation in arbitration by an individual or organization.
The winner of the award will be selected by a vote of the readers of Global Arbitration Review and named at the 7th Annual GAR Awards Ceremony on March 29 in Milan, Italy. Each year, the journal makes awards in a several categories to recognize achievements and individuals that have made an impact in advancing the field of international arbitration.
Launched in 2014 and hailed by The American Lawyer as an “immediate and market-friendly way to promote the diversity of decision-makers in all global arbitration,” AI is a University-related entity that aims to promote fairness, transparency, and accountability in the arbitrator selection process, and to facilitate increased diversity in arbitrator appointments. The primary means to that end is the Arbitrator Intelligence Questionnaire (AIQ).
The idea behind the AIQ is to replicate, through feedback data systematically collected at the end of cases, the kinds of information about arbitrators' case management and decisional history that is currently gathered through ad hoc person-to-person phone calls.
In addition to the best innovation nomination, a lecture about Arbitrator Intelligence by advisory board member Gary Born has been nominated for GAR’s best lecture award. Born is chair of the International Arbitration Practice Group at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP and president of the Singapore International Arbitration Center in London.
As Born explains in his speech, more, and more accurate, information about how arbitrators decide cases will empower parties, counsel, institutions, and even arbitrators, to make better informed choices in selecting arbitrators and constituting tribunals. It will also reduce information asymmetries that undermine the fairness of arbitrator appointments and will facilitate greater diversity by allowing newer arbitrators meaningful opportunities to establish reputations based on their actual performance.
For these reasons, several other sources in the international arbitration community have confirmed the need for innovations like the AIQ:
- In a recent survey by Berwin Leighton Paisner on diversity in international arbitration, 92 percent of respondents wanted more information about new and lesser-known arbitrators, and 81 percent wanted to give feedback about arbitrators at the end of cases.
- In the 2015 Queen Mary Survey, one of the worst characteristics of international arbitration was identified as the “lack of insight into arbitrators’ efficiency,” and most responses about institution improvement involved providing more information about arbitrators, how they are appointed, and their decision making.
- In a Kluwer blog post last week, three out of the “10 Hot Topics in International Arbitration for 2017” were transparency, the arbitrator selection process, and diversity.