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date: 18 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

It has been posited that the international arbitration process carries with it not only fact-finding and lawmaking functions but also a governance function insofar as “arbitrators … can and do engage in autonomous normative action while still adhering to the rule of law.” This contribution explores the role and ambit of the exercise of discretion by international arbitration tribunals and its interplay with the tribunals’ governance function, as arbitrators must consider “the impact of their rulings on states, persons or entities not directly represented in the case before them.” It questions whether the use of discretion is suited to the governance role of arbitral tribunals and serves, rather than compromises, the effective exercise of that role. It asks what measures ought to be considered to make arbitrators better prepared for the exercise of their governance function.

Keywords: international arbitration, discretion, global governance, arbitrators, ethics, Yukos, corruption, Metal-Tech v. Uzbekistan, international courts and tribunals, international adjudication

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