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LJD Week 2021 | Building Arbitrator Diversity in International Law

November 9, 2021

Virtual | Live Broadcast & Recorded



This event is co-organized with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

There is increasing awareness of the importance of diversifying the pool of adjudicators for international dispute settlement.

One of the five organizations that comprise the World Bank Group, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) is the leading institution for the resolution of disputes between foreign investors and host States. ICSID has administered the vast majority of international investment disputes—involving States and investors from all regions of the world. To ensure that those who decide ICSID cases also reflect this global makeup, ICSID has taken concrete steps to expand and diversify the pool of qualified adjudicators in the field of international investment law. Other courts and institutions have also taken up the issue, identifying new opportunities and initiatives to promote diversity in international dispute adjudication. 

The need for concerted efforts to promote diversity have been underscored by surveys of the international legal community. In a 2018 survey by Berwin Leighton Paisner, 80% of survey respondents thought that tribunals contained too many white arbitrators, 64% felt that there were too many arbitrators from Western Europe or North America, and 84% felt that there were too many male arbitrators. To similar effect, the 2021 White & Case International Arbitration Survey indicated that less than a third of respondents believe there has been sufficient progress in respect of geographic, age, cultural and ethnic diversity, although more than half feel that there has been progress regarding gender diversity on arbitral tribunals in the last three years. 
This proposed roundtable will explore the issue of diversity in international dispute settlement and would consider: 

  • Why is diversity of adjudicators important? What is the effect of an absence of diversity among adjudicators on the dispute settlement process and outcomes?

  • What concrete steps can be taken to diversify the pool of adjudicators? What initiatives have succeeded and what efforts are underway?  Who is responsible for these efforts?

  • Speakers


    Kabir Duggal

    Senior International Arbitration Advisor, Arnold & Porter

    Kabir Duggal is an attorney in Arnold and Porter serving both as arbitrator and counsel, a Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia Law School, an adjunct Professor at Fordham Law School, and a Course Director and Faculty Member for the Columbia Law School-Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Course.  He also acts as a Consultant for the United Nations Office of the High Representative for Least Developed Countries on the creation of a novel "Investment Support Program" and has also conducted training and capacity-building sessions for several Governments. Kabir Duggal’s publications include over 40 articles and 3 books and he has spoken at over 300 arbitration events internationally. He is the Co-Founder of Racial Equality for Arbitration Lawyers (REAL), a non-profit seeking to create greater representation in international arbitration.  He is a graduate of the University of Mumbai, Oxford (DHL-Times of India Scholar), NYU Law (Hauser Global Scholar), Leiden Law (2019 CEPANI Academic Prize), and is pursuing an SJD Degree from Harvard Law.


    Homer LaRue

    Professor, Howard University School of Law

    Homer LaRue is Professor of Law at Howard University and founder and co-director of the Howard University School of Law ADR Program. He is a labor and employment lawyer with over 35 years of experience and the President-Elect of the National Academy of Arbitrators, the foremost membership organization for labor and employment lawyers. Professor LaRue was awarded the 2020 D’Alemberte-Raven Award by the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution which is the highest individual award given by the Section for long and outstanding service to the ADR community. He is the co-founder of the Ray Corollary Initiative, Inc., devoted to the promotion of diversity in the selection of arbitrators and mediators.


    Emilia Onyema

    Professor of Law, SOAS University of London

    Emilia Onyema is Professor of International Commercial Law at SOAS University of London. She is qualified to practice law in Nigeria, as a Solicitor in England & Wales and Fellow of Chartered Institute of Arbitrator. She teaches international commercial arbitration and international investment law; convenes the SOAS Arbitration in Africa conference series; and leads the Arbitration in Africa biennial survey research project. She co-published the African Promise and founded the Arbitration Fund for African Students charity. In her arbitration practice, she has experience as presiding, co and sole arbitrator in international commercial arbitration.


    Baiju Vasani

    Partner, Ivanyan & Partners

    Baiju Vasani is a Global Head of International Arbitration at Ivanyan & Partners in London and Moscow. For nearly 20 years, Baiju Vasani has focused exclusively on international arbitration matters. He has served as counsel and arbitrator in international arbitrations involving ICSID, ICC, LCIA, ICDR, SIAC, HKIAC, UNCITRAL Rules, bilateral investment treaties (BITs), the Energy Charter Treaty, NAFTA, DR-CAFTA, and public international law. He has also advised states on the negotiation and drafting of investment treaties, and investors on the (re)structuring of their investments for maximum treaty protection. Baiju Vasani is a Senior Fellow of SOAS, University of London, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and sits on the panel of several arbitral institutions, including ICSID. He is licensed to practice law in England & Wales and the District of Columbia.


    Gonzalo Flores

    Deputy Secretary-General, International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes

    Gonzalo Flores serves as Deputy Secretary-General of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the world’s leading institution devoted to international investment dispute settlement. Gonzalo Flores joined ICSID in June 1998, acting in different capacities during his tenure. As ICSID counsel, Gonzalo Flores served as secretary of tribunals in over 60 arbitration proceedings under the ICSID Convention, the ICSID Additional Facility Rules and the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. He also served as committee secretary in numerous annulment proceedings. In October 2016, Gonzalo Flores was elected Deputy Secretary-General by the Member States of ICSID’s Administrative Council. Gonzalo Flores is a regular speaker at conferences on international investment law and procedure. Prior to joining ICSID, he worked as an associate with the law firms of Estudio-Carvallo S.A and GQMC & Cia. in Santiago, Chile, advising clients on corporate and financial matters. Gonzalo Flores holds degrees from Cornell University (LL.M.) and University of Chile Law School (LL.B.). He is admitted to practice law in Chile.


    Daría Goldstein (moderator)

    Lead Counsel, World Bank

    Daría Goldstein is a Lead Counsel in the Legal Department of the World Bank. She is based in Brussels where she has been covering the legal aspects of a broad portfolio of operational activities carried out by the World Bank in Africa, Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and Middle East, and vis-à-vis the European Union institutions and regulatory framework. Daría Goldstein’s expertise also covers international trade law and international arbitration and dispute resolution; she held positions at the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Prior to joining the World Bank in Washington DC in 1999, she was an associate lawyer in the U.S. law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. Daría Goldstein is a member of the Brussels’ Bar since 1994 and studied law at the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Brussels and Georgetown University in Washington D.C. An Argentine national, Daría is fluent in English, Spanish and French and has good working knowledge of other languages.


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