SCC Board to Provide Reasoned Decisions on Arbitrator Challenges

On 1 January 2018, the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC) will begin providing reasons for its decisions on challenges to arbitrators. This new institutional policy was adopted by the SCC Board in September.

Although the SCC Arbitration Rules do not require the Board to motivate any of its decisions, including those relating to challenges, the Board has occasionally chosen to do so on its own initiative for the benefit of the parties and the challenged arbitrators. The SCC has also, since 2005, regularly published articles summarizing all submitted challenges and stating whether or not they were sustained. These periodic publications make the Board’s decision-making more predictable to users.

Under the new policy, the SCC will provide reasoned decisions on all arbitrator challenges decided by the Board, unless the parties agree otherwise. “We believe that giving parties and arbitrators insight into the Board’s decision-making with regard to challenges will further enhance their confidence in the arbitral process,” says SCC Secretary General Annette Magnusson.    

As a main rule, the reasoned decisions will be brief, stating concisely the analysis upon which the Board dismisses or sustains the challenge. If warranted by the circumstances of a particular challenge, however, more extensive reasons may be given. The service will be included in the SCC’s administrative fee; there will be no additional cost to users.

Historically, the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) was the only major institution to provide reasoned decisions on arbitrator challenges, but in recent years other arbitral institutions have followed suit. The ICC Court of Arbitration announced in 2015 that it would do so when requested by the parties.

For more information on arbitrator challenges in SCC proceedings, see SCC Practice Note: Board Decisions on Challenges to Arbitrators 2013-2015.

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