CETA List Project Demonstrates Gender Disparities in Arbitral Appointments for Trade & Investment Disputes
by Benjamin Davis
The Canada–European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) List project demonstrated that there are occasions where appointing bodies have failed to give women the same opportunities to obtain arbitral appointments as men. Simply put, there are more than enough exceptionally and highly qualified women who are available to serve as arbitrators in trade and investment disputes. Appointment disparities cannot be explained by reference to skills, training, or experience. (ICCA Report No. 8, page 56-57, here).
In January 2020, Dr. Katherine Simpson argued that every gender imbalance in a treaty roster can be corrected and presented to the EU and Canada with the names, email addresses, and brief bios of 70 women whose experience matched at least one person on the CETA List, see here.
Today, the European Commission announced that it will improve gender balance in trade and investment arbitration! The European Commission is now calling for arbitrators and has set up a new system to assist it in candidate selection. All of the information is on the website of the European Commission, available here.
Today's announcement comes roughly six months after the European Commission's announcement that it would reflect on gender equality in international trade, see here.
Professor Benjamin Davis, a faculty member at the University of Toledo School of Law since 2003 and tenured since 2008, is a graduate of Harvard College (B.A.), Harvard Law School (J.D), and Harvard Business School (M.B.A.) where he was articles editor of the Harvard International Law Journal. Professor Davis teaches in the areas of Contracts, Commercial Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitration, Public International Law, International Business Transactions, and 3L Extended Bar Preparation. Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Davis was an associate professor at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (now Texas A&M University School of Law).
Between 1983 and 1986, he worked in Paris, France as a development consultant in West Africa, and as a strategic business consultant with Mars & Co in Europe. In 1986, he became the American Legal Counsel at the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) where he supervised directly or indirectly over 5000 international commercial arbitration and mediation cases, made filings before courts around the world on behalf of the ICC, assisted with the drafting of arbitration laws in countries such as India and Sri Lanka and led conferences in Eastern and Western Europe, North America, and Asia. In 1996, he was promoted to director, conference programmes, and manager of the Institute of World Business Law where he organized training sessions on international contracts, dispute resolution, project finance, and electronic commerce.
He is the creator of fast-track international commercial arbitration and the creator of the International Competitions for Online Dispute Resolution (ICODR) by which students from around the world competed in online negotiation, mediation, arbitration and litigation (2000-2005). He is also a former chair of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution.
Additional articles by Benjamin Davis