5 Basic Arbitration Terms and Concepts

Arbitral Awards

Arbitration is a rather broad field with a great deal of intricacies. It is such that a newbie in the field would have problem navigating his way through arbitration resources without first having a grasp of arbitration terminologies and concepts.

Like every field, there are certain concepts and terms that are exclusive to the world of arbitration. This article highlights the meaning of five basic ones:


An arbitrator is the person who presides over an arbitral proceeding to settle the dispute. The arbitrator(s) is usually selected by the parties and/or the arbitral institution. An arbitrator or a group of arbitrators make up the arbitral tribunal.

Arbitral Award

This is the ruling/ determination of an arbitral proceeding. It is similar to a court judgement. It refers to the decisions reached by the arbitrator after hearing the disputes between parties.

Arbitration Clause

This usually refers to a section of a larger contract of agreement wherein parties decide that disputes shall be subjected to arbitration. It is this clause that allows parties to call for an arbitration when a dispute arises.

Reviewing the arbitral clause

Arbitral Institution

This is a specialized institution that administers arbitral proceedings, give trainings on arbitration and keep records of arbitrations and arbitrators. Examples of these include the London Court of Arbitration (LCIA), the American Arbitration Association’s International Center for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), and the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC).

Arbitral Immunity

This refers to the immunity given to an arbitrator for actions that arise out of the scope of their arbitral duty. It is like the immunity given to judges and it is a cornerstone for successful arbitration.

One Extra One


A question on arbitrability is to decide whether a particular dispute can be resolved by arbitration or not. This is usually a matter that is decided by law courts and not an arbitrator.

There you have them! Arbitration materials should make more sense from now on.

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