Skip to main content


How can I submit my application as an arbitrator?

CEPANI does not work with a list of registered or acknowledged arbitrators. In principle, one cannot simply submit an application to become an arbitrator appointed by CEPANI. When a party submits a request for arbitration to CEPANI, the Appointments Committee or the CEPANI President considers on a case by case basis who is the most qualified person to settle the dispute at hand. In making this decision, the factors that are taken into account are the nature of the dispute, the language, the identity of the co-arbitrators, the arbitrator’s qualifications and availability, the urgency of the situation, what is at stake… CEPANI then has a number of renowned Belgian or foreign arbitrators at its disposal whose assistance it can request.
CEPANI also offers younger arbitrators or arbitrators with less experience the opportunity to start handling arbitral matters by appointing them as co-arbitrators or by assigning them the more straightforward cases. Support provided by the CEPANI Secretariat is always available.

What does CEPANI expect from an arbitrator?

CEPANI expects their arbitrators to strictly respect the Rules established by CEPANI and to keep the Secretariat regularly informed of the status of the proceedings. Requests to extend the time limits that have been fixed may be introduced, provided the request is made in a timely manner and states the reasons for the request. CEPANI also expects arbitrators to ensure that the proceedings are not unnecessarily delayed and to urge the parties to conform to the agreed deadlines.

What can an arbitrator expect from CEPANI?

When procedural problems occur, CEPANI provides its arbitrators with all necessary assistance. The Secretariat is available to offer explanations on the provisions of the CEPANI Rules, on how to estimate the advance on arbitration costs or, more generally, to explain the usual course of events. In addition, CEPANI has its own library that may be visited on request for research purposes. For the organization of arbitral hearings or for meetings between the arbitrators, a number of conference rooms may be reserved in the offices of the VBO-FEB, in which the offices of CEPANI are located. Reservations must be made in advance, via the Secretariat.

When is the arbitrator remunerated for the work performed and how is the amount calculated?

Arbitrators appointed in a CEPANI arbitration receive their fee only after the proceedings are completed. An arbitration usually takes about 8 months to one year. In exceptional circumstances the arbitration may last longer. When the arbitrator has already performed a certain amount of work (for example the Terms of Reference, the procedural timetable, interim measures …) he/she may exceptionally receive an advance on his/her fee in the course of the proceedings.
The amount of the arbitrator’s fee is decided by the Secretariat and depends directly on the amount at stake in the proceedings. The fee is then determined on the basis of the arbitration fee scale. To cover these fees, an advance payment is required from the parties. The Appointments Committee or the CEPANI President will not proceed to any nomination if the advance on the arbitration costs has not been paid in full. When the Arbitral Tribunal is composed of three arbitrators, the chair of the Arbitral Tribunal receives 40% of the total amount, each co-arbitrator receives 30%. Of course the arbitrators are free to agree on a different split; should this be the case, the Secretariat needs to be informed, at the latest when the arbitral Award is submitted.

What should be done when the parties reach a settlement before the end of the proceedings?

If the parties reach a settlement during the proceedings, the Secretariat must be informed of such. The full details of the settlement itself do not need to be communicated but the parties must inform CEPANI of the fact that they have reached an agreement that puts an end to the arbitral proceedings.
The settlement must be acknowledged by all parties. Once the parties have informed the Secretariat of the fact that an agreement has been reached and that the proceedings may therefore be closed, the Secretariat will fix the amount of the arbitration costs.
The parties may negotiate a settlement agreement either by themselves, with the help of their counsel or even with the help of the Arbitral Tribunal. Whether or not the Arbitral Tribunal has taken part in the settlement is important in the determination of the arbitration costs. For this reason, the Arbitral Tribunal is required to submit a detailed report of the time spent on the case.
Except in certain exceptional circumstances, the CEPANI Secretariat will refund part of the advance of the arbitration costs if a settlement is reached.

When can the advance on arbitration costs be increased?

The advance on arbitration costs may only be increased when the principal claim(s) and/or counterclaim(s) are increased. In exceptional circumstances the advance on arbitration costs may be increased to a higher level than what is required by the fee scale. In such an instance, the exceptional circumstances will be carefully examined and explained by the Secretariat.

What does an arbitrator have to indicate in the Declaration of Independence?

In the Declaration of Independence, every arbitrator is required to indicate any fact that could lead the parties to believe that the arbitrator is not entirely independent. The CEPANI Secretariat will communicate the facts as indicated by the arbitrator to the parties and ask them to provide a written confirmation that they have no objections regarding the arbitrator in question. In the event that the parties formulate well-founded objections, the Appointments Committee or the CEPANI President will proceed to the replacement of the arbitrator.

Why are the Terms of Reference and the Procedural Timetable not in the same document?

The Terms of Reference is a document that must be signed by the members of the Arbitral Tribunal as well as by all the parties. This means that any further alteration of the document requires the consent of all the parties involved. Were the Procedural Timetable to be inserted in the same document as the Terms of Reference, any alteration of the Procedural Timetable would therefore need the consent of all the parties and the alteration of the Terms of Reference itself. Although the Procedural Timetable needs to be drafted with the consent of everyone involved, the arbitrators may impose a Timetable, for example when a party deliberately obstructs the proceedings. This explains why the CEPANI Rules indicate that the Procedural Timetable has to be drafted in a separate document.

Why is the arbitral Award notified to the parties by CEPANI and not by the arbitrators themselves?

The CEPANI Rules indicate that notification of the arbitral Award can only be made when the arbitration costs have been paid in full. As long as the parties (or one of them) have not paid the full costs, the Award is retained by the Secretariat and is not communicated to the parties.