In the field of international investment arbitration, the common practice is for clients to name the arbitrators. This procedure enhances the party autonomy, which is considered as one of the advantages of arbitration. This possibility does, however, rise specific questions regarding the necessary competence, moral character, independence, and impartiality of the arbitrators. In the light of ensuring fair procedure, independence and impartiality of arbitrators are regarded as objective and subjective sets of criteria, which help determine, whether a relationship between clients and arbitrators is disputable. The term independence represents an objective concept of the existence of a personal, financial, or social relationship between arbitrators and parties or their counsels.
In contrast, impartiality is considered as a subjective and abstract set of criteria. Impartiality represents the arbitrator's state of mind and their tendency to favor one of the clients. In the event of a conflict of interest, parties can propose to disqualify the respective arbitrator.
Standard to the evaluation of arbitral independence has been thoroughly discussed throughout the years. In this work I hypothesize that dependency and partiality of arbitrators are difficult to prove and are rarely the reason of arbitrator’s disqualification. The opinion, whether the independence standard should be the same for arbitrators and international adjudicators, differs among experts. Furthermore, discord can be found in various provisions of different international arbitration rules. The most significant decline can be found in the ICSID Convention, which has also been recognized by several tribunals. In their judgements, they have stated, that ICSID Convention imposes a heavy burden of proof on the challenger to prove the manifest lack of capacity for independent judgement. This issue has been criticized heavily by the international professional community. Consequently, the tendency for changes to harmonize the standards set in the ICSID Convention has been noted. This master thesis also analyses some of the cases of parties’ requests for disqualification in order to represent the different practice in international investment arbitration.