Cour d'appel de Paris No RG 18-20625 - A B Import SA v BYD Auto Industry Co Ltd - French - 25 May 2021
Décision déférée à la Cour : Sentence arbitrale rendue le 20 Juillet 2018 à Paris, sous l'égide de la Cour Internationale d'Arbitrage de la Chambre de Commerce Internationale, sous le numéro de rôle 22337/FS, par le Tribunal arbitral composé de Monsieur C-D X, arbitre unique.
An action to set aside an arbitration award pursuant to article 1520, 2° of the French Code of Civil Procedure was brought to the ICCP-CA, on the ground that the arbitrator had failed to disclose information likely to cast doubt on his impartiality. The Court dismissed this plea, recalling that "the arbitrator's duty of independence and impartiality imposes on him a duty to disclose, which must allow the parties to exercise, if they so wish, their right to challenge it", which must be assessed in light of whether the alleged facts could be considered notorious. It held that in this case, the disputed information was easily accessible on the Internet and therefore notorious, and thus triggered the time limit for exercising the statutory right to challenge the arbitrator, provided for in the ICC rules. The court held that the parties had to show a minimum of curiosity, the non-diligent party being barred from challenging the independence and impartiality of the arbitrator once this time limit had expired and, consequently, held that its request to set aside had no merits.
International arbitration - Independence et impartiality - Arbitrator's disclosure duty - foreclosure, ICC Arbitration