Arbitration and judicial settlement are the two fundamental methods of resolving conflicts in a binding manner. These are mechanisms are used for legal disputes.


The first principle of international arbitration is binding on the parties. The binding nature stems from the fact that when parties choose arbitration to settle their disputes. The parties accept in advance that they will be bound by the outcome.

The idea behind the party autonomy is that the parties to the dispute have the ability to shape the arbitration process. This means that the parties can choose the laws that govern the conduct of the procedure, the laws applicable to the arbitrators and ultimately, the laws governing the resolution of the disputes.

The process is fully predetermined, as are the court and tribunal statutes. In principle, the parties cannot change these rules.

Regarding the composition and structure of arbitral tribunals, parties are free to choose how many arbitrators will comprise the tribunal. Tribunals are typically made up of three or five arbitrators. Typically, the parties appoint an equal number of arbitrators. In the case of a three or five-member tribunal, each one or two arbitrators. The remaining arbitrator, who will serve as president of the tribunal, is appointed jointly by the arbitrators appointed by the parties. In the event of a disagreement, an appointing authority is typically designated to appoint the arbitrator if the parties cannot agree or if one of the parties fails to appoint its own arbitrator. The appointing authority usually is the Secretary-General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, or the president of the International Court of Justice, but it can, in fact, be anyone. It is critical to emphasize that all arbitrators, including those appointed by the parties, must be completely independent and impartial. Independence and impartiality imply that the arbitrators have no family, financial, or other ties to the parties and have not prejudged the case. There are procedures in place to challenge the independence and/or impartiality of an arbitrator who has been appointed.


Arbitration is one of the most reliable methods of resolving disputes in a fair and timely manner. Understanding this mechanism and its fundamental principles is important to prevent issues in practice.