Having a hard time understanding Arbitration language? Below in our index you find the most relevant vocabulary which defines many of the most commonly-used terms and expressions in international arbitration disputes.


Ad Hoc Arbitration

Arbitration proceedings which are not administered by an arbitration institution.


A contractual or statutory process of dispute resolution wherein a decision to resolve a dispute is made by an independent and impartial third-party.


An individual vested with the authority to make an official decision on a matter in dispute.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

A general term encompassing the different methods of resolving a dispute without resorting to litigation.


A type of alternative dispute resolution.

  • Arbitrator

    An individual (usually an attorney or expert in a relevant field) selected to hear and settle an arbitration dispute.

  • Arbitration Agreement

    An agreement between two or more parties to submit a dispute to be resolved by means of arbitration.

  • Arbitral Award

    The final and binding decision made by a sole arbitrator or an arbitral tribunal in arbitration proceedings.

  • Annulment of Arbitral Award

    The act of setting aside an arbitral award.

  • Arbitration Cost

    The total costs associated with conducting arbitration proceedings. Such costs may include the fees of the arbitral tribunal, administration fees and expenses of the arbitration institution, legal fees and all other costs and expenses that may arise during arbitration proceedings.

  • Arbitration Institution

    A specialised arbitration institution that hosts arbitration proceedings and provides administration services aimed at facilitating arbitration disputes.

  • Arbitral Tribunal

    A panel of individuals appointed to facilitate and issue a binding decision in arbitration proceedings.

Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT)

An international agreement between two states. BIT’s establish the terms and conditions regulating foreign investment made by nationals of the signatories in each other’s states.


The act of separating ongoing arbitration proceedings n into two or more separate proceedings.

Case appraisal

The process in which an individual (usually a dispute resolution practitioner, attorney, expert or otherwise) reviews a dispute and provides an assessment of the relevant facts and the possible means of resolving the dispute.

Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York Convention)

The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards was adopted by a United Nations diplomatic conference in June 1958 with the aim of ensuring the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards globally. In this regard, the New York Convention is an important legal instrument that renders the enforcement of arbitral awards possible in 164 contracting states.

Chairman (Arbitration)

Also referred to the as the President of the Tribunal, the Chairman is the arbitrator appointed by the two party-appointed arbitrators or arbitration institution.


The party initiating arbitration proceedings.


A claim brought by the respondent in response to the claimant’s initial claim in the arbitration proceedings.


A form of alternative dispute resolution wherein a neutral third-party is appointed by the disputing parties to draft a non-binding proposal to resolve the dispute.

Consolidation of Claims

The act of combining multiple arbitration proceedings into one arbitration.


The amount of money claimed by or awarded to one party for the compensation of loss or injury.

Default Arbitral Award

A decision made by an arbitral tribunal when a party no longer takes part in ongoing arbitration proceedings.

Dispute Resolution

A general term encompassing the various means of resolving disputes between parties.

Dispute Resolution Practitioner

An independent and impartial individual tasked with assisting parties in a dispute.

Enforcement of Arbitral Awards

The act of enforcing a final arbitral award at a domestic court.

Expert Appraisal

The process in which an expert investigates the facts of a relevant dispute and provides an assessment on the issues to be resolved.

Expert Determination

A process in which an expert or specialist is chosen by the parties to resolve a dispute. The parties to the dispute submit their claims and accompanying evidence to the chosen expert, who is then tasked with resolving the dispute by issuing a non-binding or binding determination. Unlike arbitration, expert determination is usually conducted without the need of holding a hearing or complying with a set of procedural rules emanating from arbitration institutions.

Fast-Track Arbitration

A simplified and expeditious arbitration procedure that results in a final and binding arbitral award.

Final-offer Arbitration

A type of arbitration wherein the parties are required to submit their final offer to an arbitrator for consideration. The arbitrator then chooses one of the offers as the binding solution for both parties.

Fork-in-the-Road Clause

A clause usually found in Bilateral Investment Treaties that requires an investor to choose between different jurisdictional systems for the resolution of a dispute. In this regard, an investor would be required to make an irrevocable decision on which means of dispute resolution it wishes to pursue. More generally, the aim of a “fork-in-the-road” clause is to prevent the duplication of procedures and claims.

Freezing Injunction

An interim measure or order by a court to safeguard rights or preserve the assets of a party until the dispute is resolved.

Interim Measures

A temporary order made by an arbitral tribunal against a party. Interim measures are often used before rendering a final arbitral award.


The inclusion or addition of an additional party to ongoing arbitration proceedings.


The legal doctrine according to which an arbitral tribunal is empowered to assess and rule on its own jurisdiction.

Lex Arbitri

The law or system of laws governing the procedural rules applicable at the place of arbitration.

Lex Causae

The law or system of laws applicable to the substance of the dispute.

Lex Fori

The law or system of laws applicable at the seat of arbitration.

Lis Pendens

Pending legal action.


A process of dispute resolution in which a mediator is tasked with facilitating and assisting the disputing parties in resolving their dispute. Mediation offers a structured environment that enables the parties to communicate their concerns and exchange information with the aim of identifying the possible steps that can be taken to resolve the dispute. The outcome of mediation is non-binding unless explicitly agreed otherwise by the parties.


An individual trained to conduct mediations.

Mediation-Arbitration (Med-Arb)

A mediation process in which the mediator has the authority to render a final and binding decision if the parties were unable to reach an agreement.


A process of decision-making by two or more parties aimed at reaching an agreement.

Non-binding arbitration

Arbitration procedure that results in an advisory award that is non-binding and thus not enforceable. In practice, non-binding arbitrations may be used to establish the framework of ongoing settlement negotiations.


An official appointed by Government or other authoritative body that is tasked with hearing and investigating complaints.

Online Dispute Resolution (ODR)

A form of alternative dispute resolution that makes use of technology and the internet to facilitate the resolution of disputes online.

Partial Award (Arbitration)

A decision by an arbitral tribunal on one of several specific issues rendered prior the final award.


The legal principle that confers the right to a party to refuse to produce evidence.

Procedural Order

An order made by an arbitral tribunal that determines the ongoing conduct of the arbitration proceedings.


A restorative form of alternative dispute resolution that focuses resolving disputes while maintaining and/or restoring the relationships between the disputing parties.


The party against whom arbitration proceedings have been initiated by the claimant.

Statement of Claim (Arbitration)

The pleadings submitted by a party to initiate arbitration proceedings. The statement of claim encompasses the allegations made and relief sought by a party and thus acts as the first step in initiating arbitration proceedings.

Substantive Law

The law applicable to the merits of the dispute.

UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules

The UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules were adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) in 1976 and provide a set of rules of procedure to facilitate the conduct of ad hoc arbitrations.

UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (UNCITRAL Model Law)

The UNCITRAL model law was drafted and published by UNCITRAL in 1985 with the aim of assisting States in revising and developing their national arbitration laws. The UNCITRAL Model law was last amended in 2006.

Witness Statement

A written statement made by a witness.