The Scottish Arbitration Centre has welcomed the introduction of the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge and Andrew Mackenzie, Chief Executive of the Centre, signed the Pledge at its official launch in London on 18 May. The Pledge aims to increase the representation of women in arbitration and to encourage the appointment of women as arbitrators on an equal opportunity basis.
Jackie van Haersolte-van Hof, Director General of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), first called for such a pledge in 2014 at the ICCA Congress in Miami, at which Mr Mackenzie was present to hear her speak on gender equality in arbitration. Dr van Haersolte-van Hof was also the guest writer in the Centre’s quarterly newsletter the following year. Her article on diversity can be viewed here.
A Steering Committee was then formed and the Pledge was drawn up in 2015 by members of the arbitral community in recognition of the under-representation of women in international arbitration. The committee is co-chaired by Sylvia Noury, Partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and a named corporate member of the Scottish Arbitration Centre, and Wendy Miles QC, Global Head of Arbitration at Boies, Schiller & Flexner, who supported the Centre’s bid to host the ICCA 2020 Congress sitting on the Centre’s ICCA 2020 advisory panel. Other members of the Steering Committee include Juliet Blanch, Head of International Dispute Resolution at Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Chair of the Centre’s Arbitral Appointments International Sub-Committee; Justin D’Agostino, Global Head of Dispute Resolution at Herbert Smith Freehills; John Beechey, Chairman of the ICC UK Arbitration and ADR Committee and a member of the Centre’s ICCA 2020 advisory panel; and Nish Shetty, Partner at Clifford Chance and a member of the Centre’s ICCA 2020 advisory panel.
The Pledge aims to ensure that:
- committees, governing bodies and conference panels in the field of arbitration include a fair representation of women;
- lists of potential arbitrators or tribunal chairs provided to or considered by parties, counsel, in-house counsel or otherwise include a fair representation of female candidates;
- states, arbitral institutions and national committees include a fair representation of female candidates on rosters and lists of potential arbitrator appointees, where maintained by them;
- where they have the power to do so, counsel, arbitrators, representatives of corporates, states and arbitral institutions appoint a fair representation of female arbitrators;
- gender statistics for appointments (split by party and other appointment) are collated and made publicly available; and
- senior and experienced arbitration practitioners support, mentor/sponsor and encourage women to pursue arbitrator appointments and otherwise enhance their profiles and practice.
You can read more about the initiative, and take the Pledge, here.
Andrew Mackenzie said:
“I am delighted to sign the Pledge on behalf of the Scottish Arbitration Centre and the International Centre for Energy Arbitration (ICEA), our energy arbitration project with CEPMLP at the University of Dundee. The Scottish Arbitration Centre is committed to improving diversity in arbitration. Our ICCA bid advisory panel has 30% female members, including Rashda Rana SC, President of ArbitralWomen; we have 40% women on our Board; our Arbitral Appointments Committee for ad hoc appointments has more than 50% female members, with Juliet Blanch chairing the international sub-committee; and 75% of our staff are women.”