Expert Determination v. Arbitration

Russel on Arbitration, 21st Edition:

Many cases have been fought over whether a contract’s chosen form of dispute resolution is Expert Determination or Arbitration. This is a matter of construction of the contract, which involves an objective enquiry into the intentions of the parties. First, there are the express words of the disputes clause. If specific words such as ‘Arbitrator’, ‘Arbitral Tribunal’, ‘Arbitration’ or the formula ‘as an Expert and not as an Arbitrator’ are used to describe the manner in which the dispute resolver is to act, they are likely to be persuasive although not always conclusive. Where there is no express wording, Court will refer to certain guidelines. Of these, the most important used to be, whether there was an issue between the parties such as the value of an asset on which they had not taken defined positions, in which case the procedure was held to be Expert Determination; or a ‘formulated dispute’ between the parties where defined positions had been taken, in which case the procedure was held to be an Arbitration. This imprecise concept is still being relied on. It is unsatisfactory because some parties to contract deliberately choose Expert Determination for dispute resolution. The next guideline is the Judicial Function of an Arbitral Tribunal as opposed to the expertise of the Expert. An Arbitral Tribunal arrives at its decision on the evidence and submissions of the parties and must apply the law or if the parties agree, on other consideration; an Expert, unless it is agreed otherwise, makes his own enquiries, applies his own expertise and decides on his own Expert Opinion…”

Also see, International Amusement Ltd. v. India Trade Promotion Organization, [Civil Appeal No. 11474 of 2014].

There Goes!