Dealing with Bribery and Corruption in International Commercial Arbitration: To Probe or Not to Probe (Hardcover)
International Arbitration Law Library, Volume 65
International commercial arbitration is by no means free from bribery and corruption. Although a plethora of legal scholarship clearly affirms this contention, a thorough study on the particularly important question of the authority and duty of international commercial arbitrators to investigate a suspicion or indication of bribery or corruption sua sponte - that is, on their own initiative - has been surprisingly lacking. This important book fills this gap, inter alia, by locating sua sponte authority in the position of arbitral tribunals in establishing the facts of a case and ascertaining and applying the applicable normative standards.
In addition to providing a comprehensive examination of how the issue of bribery and corruption is dealt with in contemporary international commercial arbitration, the book also highlights the role of arbitrators in global efforts to combat transnational commercial bribery and corruption. Among others, the following critical issues are thoroughly investigated:
arbitrability of issues of public interests;
role of arbitrators in the fact-finding process;
party autonomy versus overriding mandatory rules;
iura novit curia in international commercial arbitration in the context of bribery and corruption;
notion of transnational (or 'truly international') public policy;
arbitrators' duty to act as guardians of international commerce;
investigative tools available to arbitrators;
dealing with manifestly recalcitrant parties;
possible consequences of violating the obligation to sua sponte investigate; and
the view from developing countries.
The analysis leans primarily on Swiss law, as Switzerland is one of the most important jurisdictions in international commercial arbitration; Switzerland has also been involved in some of the most famous and controversial arbitration cases wherein bribery and corruption became an issue. However, the study also includes a comparative analysis of the relevant laws, jurisprudence, and doctrine of other major arbitration venues, particularly England, France, and Germany.
Not only in the light it sheds on how and whether international commercial arbitrators have hitherto justified the trust States have placed in them regarding the protection of the public interests but also in the practical solutions it offers arbitrators faced with issues of bribery and corruption, this deeply researched book equips arbitration practitioners and arbitration institutions with a hitherto lacking in-depth analysis on the question of sua sponte investigation. It also provides invaluable insights on how this issue might affect the future, legitimacy and expansion of this dispute settlement mechanism. Outside the field of arbitration, the book also provides jurists, legal scholars, in-house counsel for companies doing transnational business and public officials with highly enlightening perspectives on the interaction between international commercial arbitration and public interests.