The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) has published the world's first guidelines on the inter-national standards that should be met in order to become an arbitrator.
The guide, which is a new addition to the set of directives for applying the Arbitration Act 1996, outlines the skills and abilities that parties to an arbitration should look for when interviewing a prospective arbitrator.
It also identifies key areas where arbitrators' approaches may differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, for both common and civil law.
The new guidelines come after an extensive global consultation, which went as far afield as Argentina and Lebanon.
CIArb president Hew Dundas said interviewing prospective arbitrators had been a contentious issue for many years and has remained very much a grey area.
"It's essential that the interview process be both transparent and avoid ethical risks," said Dundas. "By following a recognised guideline, the risk of failure or challenge is significantly reduced and parties can exercise due autonomy in choosing their arbitrator and thereby maximise the benefit of arbitration for resolving their disputes."
CIArb director general Michael Forbes Smith added: "The fact that it provides the only internationally recognised academic and practical qualification for arbitrators means that it's effectively positioned to set standards that go beyond the constraints of individual jurisdictional boundaries."