THE POWER OF SIMPLICITY: AFFINITY PRACTICE MODULES IN ARBITRATION
International arbitration has been strife with the immense production of paper, including but not limited to thick bundles with memorials, supporting exhibits and witness statements. Each may have a particular and delicate nexus to the case in chief, provided in the abundance of caution by counsel teams with myriad gifted employees (secretaries, trainees, law clerks, paralegals, junior/senior associates, of counsel, and junior/senior partners). This leads to the oft-arising query and task for the tribunal to steadfastly demarcate the appropriate boundaries to move the case forward with terms we wish to ally with arbitration – efficiency and economy alongside rule of law. Arbitrators have increasingly created their own boutique practices afield from the big law community to concentrate on their role as arbitrator and avoid conflicts of interest, functioning into the need for parameters to complete the work at hand in line with revised institutional rules that underscore the tribunal’s role in controlling procedure and conducting the process. Enter the introduction of affinity practice modules by leading arbitrators to streamline the arbitral process, addressing ‘The merits (and demerits) of international adjudication and arbitration’ (as described by Judge Schwebel in his 2008 United Nations Lecture). This piece surveys these modules, aptly identified by the arbitrator’s last name.
Apr-Jun 2019 issue