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L'indépendance et l'impartialité des arbitres internationaux

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Université de Nantes - Master II juriste trilingue 2011

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Faculté de droit, sciences 61 Gray's Inn Road

économiques et gestion London

La Roche sur Yon WC1X 8TL


Présenté par :

Melle Julie Boyeldieu

Mémoire préparé sous la direction de : M. Gérard Chabot et

M. Derek Wilson


L'indépendance et l'impartialité des arbitres internationaux

Version Française

Les mots suivis d'une astérisque (*) renvoient au Glossaire

TUTEUR DE STAGE: M. Manoj Choudhury, Chef de Cabinet, cabinet d'avocats «Farringdons, Solicitors»*

M. Manoj Choudhury est un Barrister*, membre du barreau de Lincoln's Inn à Londres. Il a pratiqué en tant qu'avocat à la High Court de Calcutta pendant plus de 20 ans et au barreau anglais pendant 2 ans. Par ailleurs, il a séjourné 9 ans à Hambourg dont 5 ans en tant qu'assistant juridique en droit maritime et en droit des transports maritimes, à la fois en droit allemand et anglais. En outre, M. Choudhury est membre du Panel des arbitres du Conseil indien de l'arbitrage (Indian Council of Arbitration).

Date de stage : 1er avril 2011 au 30 septembre 2011.

Professeurs référents: M. Gérard Chabot

Maître de conférences à l'Université de Nantes Membre de l'institut de recherche en droit privé

M. Derek Wilson

Solicitor (Ecosse / R.U), LLB Hons

Maître de conférences à l'Université de Nantes

En charge des programmes d'échanges internationaux de l'Université de Nantes avec les Etats Unis.


Date: Lundi 17 octobre 2011

Lieu: Université de Nantes, La Roche sur Yon

Heure : 15H15

L'indépendance et l'impartialité des arbitres internationaux



According to Albert Einstein, «without creative personalities able to think and judge independently, the upward development of society is as unthinkable as the development of the individual without the nourishing foil of the community...»1

If the development of the society depends on the independence, this necessity will apply to the judicial power in a society. Factually, the independence and the impartiality of the justice is a widely accepted principle in most of legal systems, at the national or international level, notably via the right to a fair trial.

Originally meant to apply to the courts, the right to a fair trial has been extended to alternative dispute resolution methods, particularly to arbitration. Arbitration is a non-judicial process to settle a dispute by appointing a third person or more who will judge on the matter. This dispute resolution method usually comes from a contract established by the parties which will mention the applicable law and the different provisions organising the arbitral process.

As a private justice, arbitration is particularly appreciated because of the autonomy it confers to the parties and the adaptability to each situation whatever the legal system involved. For this reason, the arbitration is omnipresent nowadays for disputes arising out of international commercial transactions, on which this study will be focused.

The parties of an arbitral process have the possibility to choose which law to apply to their arbitration, and the result will be either a national law or rules coming from an international arbitral institution. Due to the multiplicity of such possible applicable law, it is necessary to define a framework for the study. Because of their complementarity and their

2 A. EINSTEIN, Mein Weltbild. Humanität - die höchste Pflicht«, Hrsg. Carl Seelig, Erstdruck: Amsterdam, 1934, Ullstein / West-Berlin, 1957.



L'indépendance et l'impartialité des arbitres internationaux

historical influence to numerous legal systems in the world, it seems interesting to focus the topic to the Common Law system (centred principally on English legal system in this study), and the French system as an example of Civil Law system. Because of the international dimension of the subject, international institutions will also be taken into account since they provide recognised and well-used instruments in the business world.

This study will be a micro-comparison of independence and impartiality of international arbitrators. It will be examined how these principles are guaranteed and which impact have these principles on international arbitration, regarding the arbitral function and the factual implementation. This will lead us to look at the requirements for international arbitrators, notably the duty of disclosure which was the subject of numerous cases during the last decades. In this regard, the disclosure of a business relationship appears to be problematic in certain circumstances that will be investigated.

The arbitrators' duties are inexorably linked to the arbitrator's liability, and the requirements of independence and impartiality must not be neglected by international arbitrators because of the consequences it can have on their work.

Besides, it will be addressed the issue of corruption of arbitrators which unfortunately spoils the good picture of international arbitration. As a private justice, it can become easy to bribe an arbitrator, even more because the remuneration is set by the parties. As it will be ascertain, there is an urgent need to contend this problem in order to protect the confidence of the international trade actors in this dispute resolution method.

To conclude, the independence and impartiality of arbitrators are qualities which have an influence on the quality of the arbitration itself. As the adage says, «an arbitration is no better than arbitrators».

L'indépendance et l'impartialité des arbitres internationaux

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