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A Fourth Arbitrator or an Administrative Secretary?: A Study on the Appointment and Authority of Arbitral Secretaries in Swedish Arbitral Proceedings
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Arbitral tribunals’ engagement of secretaries has for several years been the subject of debate and surveys show that the use of arbitral secretaries varies in practice. The Swedish Arbitration Act as well as the Arbitration Rules and Rules for Expedited Arbitrations issued by the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce do not regulate the appointment and authority of an arbitral secretary. The requirements for the arbitrators’ appointment of a secretary and the extent of the secretary’s authority are, however, indirectly affected by general principles of law and provisions in the Swedish Arbitration Act.

Regarding the requirements for appointment of a secretary, it is asserted in this thesis that the arbitrators ought to obtain the parties’ consent to the appointment. However, it is unclear if there are any other requirements that the arbitrators must observe when appointing a secretary.

The limitations on the secretary’s authority mainly consist of agreements concluded by the parties and the provisions on challenge and invalidity of awards. Where the secretary has been appointed with the parties’ consent and the parties have not agreed on the secretary’s authority, the secretary is probably at least allowed to perform administrative tasks, but the arbitrators are not allowed to delegate their decision-making function or the duty to sign the award. However, the exact dividing line between proper and improper delegation cannot be established.

In the final discussion it is asserted that further guidance on the authority of the arbitral secretary would be beneficial. It is proposed that such guidance should be provided through guidelines issued by the SCC, which shall recommend the arbitrators to: obtain the parties’ consent to the appointment of the secretary; conclude an agreement with the parties which states the duties that the arbitrators are allowed to delegate to the secretary; be transparent with the parties on the secretary’s involvement in the arbitral proceedings; and refrain from delegating the tasks to sign the award and decide the dispute.

Abstract [sv]

Skiljenämnders anlitande av sekreterare har i flera år varit föremål för debatt och undersökningar visar på att användandet av sekreterare varierar i praktiken. Lagen om skiljeförfarande samt Stockholms Handelskammares Skiljedomsinstituts skiljedomsregler och regler för förenklat förfarande reglerar inte sekreterarens tillsättande och behörighet. Kraven för att skiljemännen ska kunna tillsätta en sekreterare och omfattningen av sekreterarens behörighet påverkas dock indirekt av generella rättsprinciper samt bestämmelser i lagen om skiljeförfarande.

Angående kraven för att kunna tillsätta en sekreterare, hävdas i denna uppsats att skiljemännen borde inhämta parternas samtycke till tillsättandet. Det är dock oklart om skiljemännen måste observera några andra krav när de ska tillsätta en sekreterare.

Sekreterarens behörighet begränsas främst av avtal som parterna har slutit samt reglerna om klander och ogiltighet av skiljedomar. Om sekreteraren har blivit tillsatt med parternas samtycke och parterna inte har avtalat om sekreterarens behörighet, så får sekreteraren troligtvis åtminstone utföra administrativa uppgifter, men skiljemännen får inte delegera deras beslutsfattande funktion eller uppgiften att underteckna skiljedomen. Den exakta gränsen mellan tillåten och otillåten delegering kan dock inte fastställas.

I den avslutande diskussionen framhålls att det vore fördelaktigt med ytterligare vägledning angående sekreterarens behörighet. Det föreslås att sådan vägledning ska ges genom att SCC antar riktlinjer som rekommenderar skiljemännen att: inhämta parternas samtycke till tillsättandet av sekreteraren, avtala med parterna angående vilka uppgifter som skiljemännen får delegera till sekreteraren, vara öppna med parterna angående sekreterarens inblandning i förfarandet och avstå från att delegera uppgifterna att underteckna skiljedomen och avgöra tvisten.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
Keyword [en]
Arbitration, Arbitral Secretaries
Keyword [sv]
Skiljeförfarande, Sekreterare
National Category
Law
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-254124OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-254124DiVA: diva2:817193
Educational program
Law Programme
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2015-08-03 Created: 2015-06-04 Last updated: 2015-08-03Bibliographically approved

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