56 Va. J. Int'l L. 647 (2016)
Blinding International Justice

handle is hein.journals/vajint56 and id is 661 raw text is: 









                                    ARTICLE


                 Blinding International Justice

                                   SERGIO   PUIG*

     The past twentyyears  have seen a tremendous rise in international dispute settlement
mechanisms.  As  international adjudication has become  more prominent  and pervasive,
some  of its mostfundamental tenets have also come under scrutiny. Recently, a new debate
has  emerged  regarding par-appointments - a widespread feature in international
arbitration. While international arbitrators, like nationaljudges, are supposed to exercise
independentjudgment   and be neutral and impartial, practitioners and scholars concur that
arbitrators often lean in favor of the nominating party. As a result of concerns over a lack
of impartiality, blind appointments  - where nominees do not know which party
appointed  them -   have been suggested as a corrective intervention in the arbitration field.
     This Article explores the causes, implementation challenges, and possible limitations
of blind appointments  in arbitration. It makes three contributions. First, it proposes a
conceptualframework to   understand  the dfierent biases introduced with the nomination
ofjudges  in international adjudication: compensation, affiliation, selection, and epistemic
effects. Second, considering new   data from   investment arbitration proceedings  and
experimental  surveys on arbitrators, it shows that blinding is a promising intervention to
target  affiliation effects while maintaining potential  benefits resulting from pary
paricjpation  in tribunalformation. Third, it explains how blind appointments may have
important  limits as to their corrective properties and explores the conditions that are most
favorable for the success of thisproposal in other fields of international adjudication.








     *Associate Professor and Director, International Economic Law and Policy Program, James E.
 Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona. I would like to thank Negar Katirai, Dave Marcus, Andy
 Coan, Enric Torrents, David Gantz, James Anaya, Joost Pauwelyn, Greg Shaffer, Christopher
 Robertson, Katerina Linos, James Gathii, Cynthia Ho, Harlan Grant Cohen, Peter B. Rutledge, Chris
 Drahozal, Carmen Mestizo, Creighton Dixon, and the participants in the seminars and workshops at
 Arizona, Loyola-Chicago, Irvine, Georgia, and Berkeley Law for their helpful criticisms, advice, and
 suggestions on earlier drafts. Thanks also to the editors of The Virginia journal of International Law
 for expert editing and to the generosity of the University of Arizona Summer Research Grant.

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