Tribunal Diversity (Part 2)

 ~ REASONS FOR LACK OF DIVERSITY ~

There can be no exhaustive list for confining the reasons for lack of diversity amongst members of an arbitration tribunal with reasons varying from gender inequality to economic differences. The factors so mentioned may be concerning but not solitary by any means. While highlighting the issue of increase in appointments of women in the field, the measures to be observed can be such which revolve around regular status as an individual before as a responsible official, from upholding the responsibility of delegate to shift back to the responsibility of family inclusive of children. Biased opinion being another such a drawback where reports showcased how the nominations of the same Arbitrators were repeated.[3]

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[3] See White & Case, 2018 International Arbitration Survey: The Evolution of International Arbitration, School of International Arbitration, http://www.arbitration.qmul.ac.uk/resea018

~ TYPES OF DIVERSITY IN TRIBUNAL ~

The factors defining the confining list of diversity is absolutely unlimited. The distinct experiences based on different dimensions are what evolve a human mentally with difference of opinion based on solitary observations impacting societal outlook. 

While such factors  are infinite, there are a number of factors commonly discussed, considered and tracked. Some of which can be listed as below;

           ✓  CULTURAL BACKGROUND

There are a number of factors that make up different cultures, including traditional food, language, religion and customs. India  alone has several different cultures within each region, state and even town. 

While a lot of people enjoy learning about other cultures for short time periods, it’s an entirely different experience to work with individuals on a daily-basis who come from different cultures. 

Cultural differences can bring a wealth of learning opportunities as well as some complicated challenges and barriers among employees who are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with one another’s unique cultures [4]

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[4] https://builtin.com/diversity-inclusion/types-of-diversity-in-the-workplace

         GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION

Geographical location plays a major role in the culture, language, education, social roles, socioeconomic status, beliefs and ideologies with which a person is accustomed. Keep in mind that just because an individual lives in a particular location now, doesn’t mean they’ve always lived there. It’s important to get to know your candidates’ and colleagues’ rich history to better understand their unique experiences in life prior to working with you.[5]

 ✓ LANGUAGE, LINGUISTICS & ACCENTS

Reports from the United States Census Bureau found that at least 350 languages are spoken in the homes of Americans. Unlike most countries, and contrary to popular belief, the United States does not have an official language. However, language, linguistics and accents can play a significant role in an individual’s ability to get and keep a job. 

For job seekers, if a job description or recruitment materials are only in one language, like English, it may be difficult for them to apply for a role or make it through an interview process. While it is not feasible for any company to translate all of their recruitment materials into 350+ different languages, it can be helpful to provide a few additional translations for common languages in your community and workplace. You may also consider utilising an online translation service or in-person interpreter for roles that don’t require individuals to be fluent in a language to work.

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[5] https://builtin.com/diversity-inclusion/types-of-diversity-in-the-workplace

Additionally, accents reflect the different ways individuals pronounce certain words within a language and such differences can lead to accent bias or perception, where people judge or discriminate against an individual’s intelligence and abilities simply by the way they pronounce certain words. Individual’s may also have an affinity for people who have a similar accent to their own. Understanding different accent biases will help you and your team to identify your own biases and challenge them when you meet people from different language backgrounds. [6]

                       ✓ ETHNICITY

For starters, ethnicity is different from race, which we will cover in an upcoming section. Rather than biological factors, ethnicity is based on learned behaviours. Ethnicity is associated with culture, history, nationality, heritage, dress, customs, language, ancestry and geographical background. Common examples of ethnicity include: Hispanic or Latina, Irish, Jewish, or Cambodian.[7]

                            ✓ RACE

Unlike ethnicity, which we discussed earlier in this article, race is biologically determined. Examples of race include: White, Black or African American American, Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.

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 [6] Supra, note 5.

[7] Supra, note 4.

Nadra Kareem Nittle provides a clear example of race versus ethnicity for Thought Co. stating that, “Race and ethnicity can overlap. For example, a Japanese-American would probably consider herself a member of the Japanese or Asian race, but, if she doesn’t engage in any practices or customs of her ancestors, she might not identify with the ethnicity, instead considering herself an American.”[8]

With citizenship status , family and upbringing ,age, educational background, Individual ideology/conceptions( economic, political, religious etc), moral beliefs, social roles, gender identity/orientation/expression , income and social economic status, life experiences and privileges, marital status, spiritual beliefs, past work experiences ,skills and so on playing expanded roles in accordance with what an individual has become as a person with a thought mechanism.

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[8] Note 4, Supra

   ~ IMPORTANCE OF DIVERSITY ~

Qualitative awards being one of the major beneficial outcome. For more robust decisions and qualitative approach in point of views the importance of diversity in administrative tribunals lie from one surface to the other. The diversity of a tribunal enriches it with quality of heterogeneous responses as different arbitrators develop unique solutions to the same conflicts. We do not require a tribunal comprising highly and only intellectual arbitrators because individuals who display incapability in one aspect of the dispute may infuse harmony and strength in another. Differing strengths act as consecrations and endow the tribunal with the power of diversity by which reliable awards can be manifested. Various studies have confirmed, not surprisingly that representativeness of judges improves perceived legitimacy of adjudicatory apparatus[9].

A former federal judge of the United States named Deanell Tacha emphasized the significance of diversity amongst judges: When the judiciary is composed of people who all look the same way, speak the same way, and identify the same way, then there are many, many people in our country who don’t feel like the life experiences and the resultant mindset of the judge are the same as their own [10]

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[9] http://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-1503-diversity-in-arbitral-tribunals.html

[10] Tacha Deanell, Diversity in the Judiciary: A Conversation with Deanell Tacha, 59 KAN LAW REV 1037 (2011)

            ~ CONCLUSION ~

A diverse tribunal can hence be concluded from aforementioned discussion to hold the potential to serve the purpose of its establishment better with broader perspectives of engagements with different point of views with regard to disputes that get enlisted. To strike a balance amongst the already appointed candidates that are eligible for the same is important as much as appointment itself. Merit is important however to develop a sense of environment where Individuals can input their experiences, skills and management provided their prior understanding of the topic of dispute, their familiarity be it with gender specific or culture based. Parties normally prefer to selected arbitrators keeping in mind the stakes involved in the arbitration proceeding and the risk factor involved in case the award is rendered against them [11]

Maintaining a parity with the individuality as well opportunity mechanism to cumulatively unifying the organisation to establish a work environment conclusive of solitary set of observatory skills is the most  important reason that must be engaged with while forming a tribunal ,which is a selfless mechanism and so should be the inputs ,in the form of members/thoughts/opportunities and status. 

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[11]https://indialawjournal.org/importance-of-diversity-while-forming-an-arbitration-tribunal.php#:~:text=Diversity%20in%20an%20arbitration%20tribunal,a%20party’s%20point%20of%20view.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

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The Central Vista Project – waste of ₹20000 crores? – Aishwarya Sandeep

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