Published 6 June 2019
Confidentiality and party autonomy are generally regarded as hallmarks of commercial arbitration. However, the Court of Appeal's judgment last year in Halliburton v Chubb has created a serious tension between these concepts in the context of an arbitrator's duty to disclose circumstances which might give rise to a possibility of bias. The decision has, moreover, highlighted a divergence between English law and the major sets of institutional rules regarding the duty of disclosure and the consequences if it is breached. The decision is currently under appeal to the Supreme Court. This article discusses some of the problems with which their Lordships will need to grapple at the forthcoming hearing due to take place in November this year. It also highlights the need to undertake a fundamental reassessment of what arbitration should entail if competing interests are to be appropriately balanced and trust in London international commercial arbitration as a fair and impartial means of dispute resolution is to be maintained.