THE NEW ARBITRATOR TAKES OFF HER GLOVES
B needs to compose herself. She boils the kettle, makes herself a coffee, then re-arranges the items on her desk. She decides to take a walk hoping that the rhythm of her steps will help her organise her thoughts.
Back at her desk she settles on the following which she reads out at the next zoom meeting of the Tribunal – her hands are clammy and her voice a little uncertain but, as she speaks, her confidence returns.
“I want to express some concerns I have about the way our discussions are going. My starting point is that we arbitrators are trained to consider all issues in a fair-minded and objective manner and I am not sure that we are achieving that goal. We two wingers are appointed by the parties but, as has been repeatedly urged on all arbitrators, we are not here to win the case for the side that appointed us but to reach an independent view on who is right and who is wrong. I have a second point; we wingers are taught to respect the position of the Chair who sets the agenda and guides us in our discussions and here I have a concern that too much initiative is being taken by my fellow winger and not by the Chair. I voice these concerns honestly in the hope that we can, going forward, exercise our respective responsibilities with complete objectivity and in accordance with S33.”
The Chair suggests a 15 minute break. It is agreed. You conjecture that C has spoken to A because when the Zoom meeting resumes there is a distinct change in the atmosphere. C takes the initiative, thanks B for her comments, and – without addressing the points that she has raised – maps out the way forward. He identifies the issues, summarises the views of both parties without favouring one side or the other. A then speaks.
Episode 6. 26 May 2022
WHAT DOES ARBITRATOR A SAY?