The Beijing Arbitration Commission Administrative Measures for the Engagement of Arbitrators (the “Administrative Measures”) was revised on August 14, 2006, and has helped improve the engagement and administration of Beijing Arbitration Commission (the “BAC”) arbitrators. Six years practice now makes it necessary to have a few revisions to the Administrative Measures. Suggestions have been given based on practical needs. Below is a brief introduction of the revisions.
1. Clearer procedures of arbitrator engagement
The Disciplinary Board of the BAC is responsible for the first examination of arbitrator applicants. Only applicants passed the first examination can be reported to the Commission for further deliberation. In the former Administrative Measures, it is stipulated that the BAC Secretariat shall report to the Commission for deliberation after conducting the first examination, without mentioning the first examination done by the Disciplinary Board. The revision this time added it in accordance with the BAC practice, intending to make the application procedure more transparent.
2. Change of tenure of engagement
This change means to keep in line with the Constitution of the BAC (the “Constitution”). On February 1, 2008, the Second meeting of the Fifth Session of the BAC made revisions to the Constitution. One of the revisions was to extend the tenure of the BAC Commission members and arbitrators from three years to five years according to the practical needs. The Administrative Measures however were not revised accordingly, and that explains why the change this time.
3. Consequence of suspension from being listed in BAC panel
Article 9 of the former Administrative Measures provided that during the time period when an arbitrator was suspended from being listed in the BAC panel, s/he shall not accept any appointment by the parties in selection, nor shall the BAC Chairman appoint him/her as arbitrator, and the case s/he is hearing, if any, shall be dealt with pursuant to Section 4, Article 18 of the Constitution. Such stipulations resulted in the inconvenience of checking the Constitution for a complete understanding of the text. The revisions this time makes full stipulations thereon in the article. It is then provided that for any arbitration under hearing, the arbitrator shall decide whether to withdraw from the case within seven days upon receipt of the Notice of Suspension from BAC Panel, and shall submit its decision in writing to the case manager. If the arbitrator fails to respond or decides not to withdraw from the hearing, the BAC shall inform the parties of such situation, and the arbitrator could continue to fulfill his/her duties as arbitrator until the case is concluded only if both parties so agree.