Duties of an arbitrator in an arbitration
In arbitration, the parties may impose duties on the arbitrator at the time of appointment. The duties which the arbitrator has to perform in arbitration are-
Duties to be independent and impartial
Section 12 and Section 18 of The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 impose a duty on the arbitrator that he must be independent and impartial. There should be no personal or professional relationship between the arbitrator and the parties which can affect the ultimate judgment. The arbitrator should not favour nor oppose any party and should give equal treatment to parties.
Duty to work out a time and place of arbitration
According to Section 20 of the Act, it's the duty of the arbitrator to appoint the time and place of arbitration if the parties have not decided it. But at the time of determination, the arbitrator must keep in mind the circumstances and the convenience of the parties. The arbitrator also has the power to decide other places to listen to the witness or experts.
Duty of disclosure
According to Section 12 of this Act, there's an obligation on an arbitrator to give all the relevant facts which are required to be known by the parties at the time of his first meeting with them.
Duty to effectively resolve the dispute
The arbitrator should make effective decisions doing no misconduct. We consider the following acts as misconduct by the arbitrator:
- Making awards that oppose public policy
- Engaging in bribery and corruption
- Breaching the rule of natural justice.
Duty to work out the rule of procedure
According to Section 19, the arbitration procedure isn't bound by any code of procedure. The procedure always depends upon the desire of the parties but if there is no prior agreement on this, then the arbitrator has all the facility to decide the procedure for such a case. this power includes the facility to work out the relevance or weight of any evidence.
Duty to interpret or correct the award
According to Section 33 of the Act, it's a duty of the arbitrator to correct or interpret the following awards made by him within 30 days from receipt:
- A party with notice to the different party may request him to correct any error of computation or clerical nature;
- A party with a notice to the different party may request to interpret any specific part of the award.
In this section, the court also may correct any error of the award on its own initiative within thirty days from the arbitration award.
These duties are important for an arbitrator to conduct his fair arbitration proceedings, The arbitrator must also perform his specific duties given under the agreement. which differ from case to case.