Answer ... The parties are free to appoint the arbitrators or to stipulate the procedure for their appointment. In the absence of an agreement between the parties, the appointing authority may appoint the arbitrators.
Answer ... The parties are at liberty to determine the number of arbitrators to be appointed, although this number must be odd.
In the absence of an agreement between the parties on the number of arbitrators, this number shall be three.
Answer ... Yes, the appointment of an arbitrator can be challenged on the grounds that he or she is not impartial or independent, or does not have the qualifications agreed by the parties. The challenge should be raised within 15 days of constitution of the tribunal or within 15 days of becoming aware of the grounds for the challenge.
Answer ... The parties may agree on the procedure for replacing an arbitrator whose appointment is successfully challenged. Where the appointment of an arbitrator is challenged by both parties, the appointing authority shall replace the arbitrator.
Answer ... Generally, an arbitrator must be fair and impartial, and give each party an opportunity to present its case. These duties are imposed by Section 31(1) of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act. In addition, Section 31(2) allows arbitrators to conduct the arbitration proceedings in the manner that they consider appropriate to avoid unnecessary delay and expenses. This duty gives arbitrators a lot of leeway to act in the best interests of the case and to deliver effective justice.
Answer ... (a) Procedure, including evidence?
Section 31(3) of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act provides that an arbitrator has the power to decide on matters of procedure and evidence. This power is limited by any agreement between the parties on the procedure to be adopted for the arbitration and on matters of evidence.
(b) Interim relief?
An arbitrator has the powers to make interim orders on the application of a party to the arbitration to preserve the subject matter of the dispute.
(c) Parties which do not comply with its orders?
An arbitrator has no power to enforce compliance with the arbitral award. The award creditor must commence enforcement proceedings under the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act to enforce an award.
(d) Issuing partial awards?
An arbitrator has the power to issue a partial award under Section 37(1) of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act.
(e) The remedies it can grant in a final award?
An arbitrator can grant only the relief sought by a party to the arbitration or relief which directly arises from the matters in dispute. If the arbitrator grants relief which either was not sought by a party or does not arise from the issues, the arbitrator will be deemed to have acted beyond his or her jurisdiction and the award may be set aside.
The Arbitrator has the power to award the payment of simple or compound interest on the principal amount claimed. However, the award of interest will be based on the contract between the parties or the applicable law to the dispute.
Answer ... The Alternative Dispute Resolution Act gives the tribunal the power to adjourn the hearing if a party, without sufficient reason, does not participate in the hearing or if the parties agree on the postponement of the hearing. However, the tribunal has the power to proceed to take evidence and make an award based on the evidence before it if a party does not participate in the hearing, despite having been served with notice of same.
Answer ... The arbitrators and all those who are in the employment of the tribunal during the course of the proceedings are immune from liability for anything done pursuant to the arbitration, unless it is shown that they have acted in bad faith.