The AIC Arbitration Rules are available for resolving industry disputes involving members of AIC, NFU and NFUS.
Eligibility of Arbitrators
The AIC Arbitration Rules provide that only persons approved by the Association may act as arbitrators under the rules. The names of those members listed in the current Register of Approved Arbitrators appear below.
In order to gain admission to the Register an arbitrator must undergo certain training:
- Trainee arbitrators progress to probationary arbitrators by way of attendance at two arbitration hearings as observer. Trainees will be asked to write an 'award' after each hearing, one of which must be an AIC arbitration.
- Once qualified as such, a probationary arbitrator will be empowered to act as one of a three person arbitration tribunal and as a member of a board of appeal, but not a sole arbitrator, a chairman of a tribunal, nor a chairman of a board of appeal.
- Progression to approved arbitrator is by way of attendance at a total of four AIC arbitration/appeal hearings, either as an observer or arbitrator or member of a board of appeal.
All arbitrators (trainee, probationary and approved) are required to undertake appropriate training courses as deemed necessary by AIC.
All approved arbitrators are required to relinquish the role of arbitrator at seventy years of age. Arbitrators may be invited, by the AIC Board, to continue in the role of arbitrator beyond that age.
The Role of AIC Arbitrators under The Arbitration Act 1996 and under AIC Rules of Arbitration
Due to the apparent lack of understanding by some members of the role of an arbitrator, it is considered necessary to bring to members' attention the following extract from the Association's arbitration rules in order to ensure strict adherence to those rules, and to save any embarrassment to AIC arbitrators or to the Association.
The AIC Arbitration Rules (Rule 3.1) state, 'An Arbitrator is a person appointed to adjudicate impartially in a dispute between two or more parties, he shall not assume the role of an advocate'. Unfortunately there are indications that some parties who engage in arbitration are either unaware of this rule or seek to ignore it, despite the requirement (in Rule 1.5) that parties to arbitration are 'deemed ..... to agree to abide by these rules .....'.
The main problem appears to be in what disputing parties expect from their appointed arbitrator. Most members understand that their appointee is not their advocate and that it is not part of the appointed arbitrator's role to prepare or advise on the format of the party's submission. However, it does appear that there are members who, in their capacity as parties to an arbitration, expect the arbitrator to prepare their case. If that were to be done the arbitrator would prejudice his impartiality which it is incumbent upon him to display in acting as an adjudicator at the case hearing.
An arbitrator owes a duty to both parties once appointed, and has to maintain strict impartiality. This is summed up in the 20th edition of "Russell on Arbitration", thus:-
"The arbitrators selected, one by each side, ought not to consider themselves the agents or advocates of the party who appoints them. When once nominated they ought to perform the duty of deciding impartially between the parties, and they will be looked upon as acting corruptly if they act as agents for or take instructions from either side."
If contract advice, or assistance with the preparation of a case and submission is required parties are recommended to approach a member of the Approved Register of Arbitrators who has no connection with the case in dispute.
Appointment of Arbitrators
Members are advised that where a party claims arbitration, and appoints an arbitrator (either simultaneously or at different times) it is not enough simply to make an appointment on their own behalf.
It is necessary that when advising the other party of his appointment of an arbitrator the Claimant also invites the Respondent to reply with an appointment within the specified time limits. Without such an 'invitation' the appointment might be considered flawed, and could be ruled to be 'an improper appointment' thus rendering the Claimant liable ultimately to be found out-of-time, and unable to pursue his case.
Members are advised to follow this procedure when claiming arbitration under the AIC Arbitration Rules.
All such appointments must be in writing, and must be copied to the arbitrator, who should formally reply and indicate his acceptance of the appointment.