In arbitration, an Arbitral Tribunal is elected for resolving the dispute between the
disagreeing parties. In literal meaning, “Arbitral tribunals refer to panels of one or more
arbitrators responsible for adjudicating disputes between parties.” Arbitral tribunal is also
known as Arbitral Commission, Arbitration Council or Arbitration Committee. It is the duty
of the tribunal to be unbiased, honest to both the parties, and to resolve the dispute via
arbitration. The arbitral tribunal shall consist a sole arbitrator or two or more arbitrators. It is
the duty of the act fairly and be impartial to both the parties, to follow the required procedure
and rules and to give an equal opportunity to both the parties to present their case and deliver
award accordingly. 1
COMPOSITION OF ARBITRAL TRIBUNAL
Chapter III of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 deals with the composition of the
arbitral tribunal. Section 102
of this act states the number of arbitrators that is to be elected in
the arbitral tribunal. The parties are free to determine the number of arbitrators, as long as the
number is not an even number. If the parties fail to determine, there shall be only one
arbitrator in the arbitral tribunal.
Section 11 3of this Act deals with the requirements and procedure for the appointment of an
arbitrator. The following qualifications must be met for the appointment of the arbitrator:
1. A person of any nationality may be an arbitrator, unless otherwise is agreed by the
2. The parties are free to choose the procedure for appointing the arbitrator(s). A party
may request the Supreme Court or the High Court or any institution or person
designated by such Court, to take necessary steps in cases where, the party or parties
fail to act as required according to the appointment procedure agreed upon by the
parties; or if the parties, or the two appointed arbitrators, fail to reach an agreement;
or if a person or institution fails to perform any function assigned to him under that
procedure, unless other means for securing the appointment is already mentioned in
the agreement on the appointment procedure.
3. If they fail in agreement in an arbitration with three arbitrators, each party shall
appoint one arbitrator and the two appointed arbitrators will appoint the third
arbitrator as the presiding arbitrator. If a party fails to appoint an arbitrator within
thirty days from receipt of a request from the other party to do so, or if the two
appointed arbitrators fail to appoint a presiding arbitrator within thirty days, or in case
of a sole arbitrator, if the parties fail to agree on the arbitrator, the Supreme Court or the High Court or any institution or person designated by such Court shall make the
appointment, only upon the request by a party.
4. In case of appointment of a sole or third arbitrator in an International Commercial
Arbitration, any arbitrator of a nationality other than the nationalities of the parties
may be appointed by the Supreme Court or any institution or person designated by
DUTIES OF ARBITRAL TRIBUNAL
The duties of the Arbitral Tribunal will to be determined by the rules and regulation and the
procedural laws that is to be applied in the particular arbitration case. However, there are
certain universal rules that is to be followed in every case of arbitration: 4
- To be fair and impartial with the parties;
- To follow the correct set of rules and law;
- To give equal opportunity to both the parties to represent their case;
- To adopt procedures which are applicable to the given case;
- To provide a fair means for dispute resolution.
The arbitral tribunal is free to rule on its own jurisdiction, which includes ruling on any
objections, according to the existence or validity of the arbitration agreement.
However, a plea that the arbitral tribunal does not have any jurisdiction shall not be
entertained any later than the submission of the statement of defense. However, it does not
restrict a party from raising such a plea merely because he has appointed, or participated in
the appointment of arbitrator.
Also, a plea that the arbitral tribunal is exceeding the scope of its authority shall be raised as
soon as the matter alleged to be beyond the scope of its authority is raised during the arbitral
IMMUNITY FROM SUIT
It is generally an accepted principle that the arbitral tribunal has immunity from suit and are
not liable for anything done or omitted to be done by them in good faith while discharging
their duties for resolving the dispute.
1 WIKIPEDIA, https://www.wikipedia.org/ (last visited Nov 3, 2021).
2 The Arbitration And Conciliation Act, 1996, §10. 3 The Arbitration And Conciliation Act, 1996, §11. 4 JUSMUNDI, https://jusmundi.com/en/ (last visited Nov 10, 2021).
5 The Arbitration And Conciliation Act, 1996, §16.
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