Published 9 February 2021
Private international arbitral institutions have recently enacted reforms that allow for the issuance of reasoned decisions in connection with the decisions they take on adjudicated administrative matters, such as arbitrator challenges. Despite these welcome developments, the giving of reasons by international arbitral institutions in support of their decisions on contested administrative matters remains inconsistent and largely discretionary, and continues to fall well short of the practice among judicial and quasi-judicial bodies at the state level where reason-giving is well-entrenched and seen as central to judicial legitimacy and authority, particularly in liberal democratic societies. Several of the various rationales for reason-giving at the state level, such as transparency, accountability, predictability and quality, apply to important adjudicative decisions taken by international arbitral institutions in arbitration proceedings. There is also a strong appetite in the marketplace for more transparency and reason-giving by international arbitral institutions particularly in connection with arbitrator challenges and confirmations. In light of this, the leading private arbitral institutions would be well-advised to consider developing more robust practices for reason-giving in connection with the important administrative matters they regularly adjudicate, such as arbitrator challenges and confirmations, initial prima facie jurisdictional determinations and the consolidation of multiple proceedings.