In 2019 the Commonwealth Secretariat undertook a Study of International Commercial Arbitration in the Commonwealth (Study). Members of the arbitration community were invited to participate in a survey and to share their attitudes towards international arbitration and the challenges that those in the field face in their home countries, across the Commonwealth and worldwide. The survey was supplemented by interviews and discussions with roundtable groups.
Of particular note, the Study includes recommendations to enhance diversity within the arbitration community, including the importance of Commonwealth jurisdictions cooperating with their respective arbitral institutions, law societies and bar councils to encourage diversity and require reporting on it. The need to consider diversity when appointing arbitrators, and ArbitralWomen’s role in providing the arbitration community with information about diverse candidates, is noted. The Study also proposes that the Commonwealth Secretariat consider launching a Commonwealth diversity pledge.
The expert group overseeing the Study was led by ArbitralWomen member Professor Petra Butler and included Funke Adekoya, Gary Born, Robert Griffiths QC, Audley Sheppard QC, ArbitralWomen member Dharshini Prasad served as Executive Secretary to the Study.
The Study can be found here.