Ensuring transparency while maintaining confidentiality may seem contradictory, but in the realm of jurisdiction, there are ways to keep these two concepts hand-in-hand to make justice truly more accessible to all.
Transparency vs. Confidentiality
In arbitration, transparency relates to an arbitral institution and the arbitrator making every process of arbitration clear and understandable to all involved parties.
Meanwhile, confidentiality pertains to keeping all information related to the case only within the involved parties, the arbitrator, and the institution offering the arbitration service.
These two concepts of transparency and confidentiality interact with each other to make sure that everyone involved in the arbitration process is on the same boat while ensuring that information is not shared with people outside of the arbitration procedure and not publicly disclosed.
Choosing arbitration for confidentiality
Big companies often turn to arbitration to settle disputes to keep internal matters confidential. Things could get messy and out-of-hand if the case undergoes civil proceedings, which could, in turn, lead to unwanted disclosure of business secrets.
With this, arbitrators must ensure that confidentiality is maintained during the dispute resolution process to safeguard information disclosed by parties. However, keep in mind that transparency should be a priority in every step of the arbitration process.
Which aspects should be made transparent to involved parties?
Arbitral institutions offering the arbitration service should be responsible for ensuring that transparency is maintained during the conduct of the proceedings. They have to provide a clear guideline for arbitrators and involved parties of the flow of arbitration.
These are some ways of maintaining transparency within parties during the conduct of the arbitration procedure.
- Appointment of arbitrators:
It should be made clear how the arbitrators are assigned to the case — whether by random assignment or selection based on a panel of arbitrators. Parties need to understand the mechanism in the selection or appointment of arbitrators.
Sometimes, parties choose to nominate a preferred arbitrator who will handle their dispute, however, the other involved party should also be amenable to the choice of arbitrator. The selected arbitrator must disclose their previous working relationship with the involved parties. But it is still preferred to have a detached neutral who will handle the dispute to prevent favorable award to the party that nominated the arbitrator.
- Calculation of costs:
The arbitral institution should be transparent in the cost of arbitration and for additional charges that could be incurred during the arbitration procedure. It would be upsetting for involved parties to assume that one thing is included in the initial computation, just to find out in the final payment that it was not. A table indicating the cost of every step would be helpful to prevent unexpected fees.
It could be noted that arbitral institutions offering the service would sometimes charge based on the value of the dispute itself. It should be made clear how much of the charge goes to the arbitrator and how much goes to the institution.
- Providing motivating decisions:
The arbitrator is obliged to remain transparent in arriving at a procedural decision, or award, for the dispute. Their role during the arbitral procedure is to direct and guide the flow of arbitration based on agreed-upon mechanisms and this is reflected by motivating decisions.
By motivating each decision made, be it an arbitral proceeding, a procedural order, or any other measure, to illustrate why and how a given decision was made the arbitrator ensures transparency in the conduct of arbitration so that neutrality could be defined and maintained.
However, this could also make the process longer, as it gives other parties room to complain and in turn increases struggle to a certain extent.
With the Jur Arbitration Platform, parties are assured that transparency coexists with confidentiality with our smart algorithm for the fair selection and appointment of arbitrators who are best suited to handle your disputes. A limited strike-out feature for arbitrators who may have some level of conflict of interest is also available to maintain fairness in the case.
Visibility to every step of the process is also available, where an overview is provided for the awareness of what parties have to do and what will be done to resolve the conflict at hand.
Through the platform, parties will have access to all correspondence with the arbitration and other parties involved in the proceedings, as well as to all evidence submitted by parties
Transparency and confidentiality are important values deep-seated within the Jur Arbitration platform to provide the best services for dispute resolution served with fairness and efficiency.