Upcoming Decision May Impact Role of Arbitrator

The Lawyer
May 23, 2011

The arbitration clause in the joint ­venture agreement between Nurdin Jivraj and Sadruddin Hashwani stated that the arbitrators must be members of the Ismaili community. The Court of Appeals said the arbitration agreement was void because the clause was discriminatory in contravention of the regulations.

The Court of Appeals held that arbitrators are employees for the purposes of the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 because they act under “a contract personally to do any work.” Although this seems like a small issue divorced from the mainstream world of commerce, “the logic and language of the CoA decision have broad implications for arbitration agreements, well beyond attempted restrictions on the religion of arbitrators.”

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