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Duarte Duarte
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Announcing the Arbitrator Intelligence “Share Your Award Experiences” Grand Prize Winner!

January 26, 2015

Arbitrator Intelligence staff have tabulated the votes and selected a Grand Prize Winner for the Share Your Award Experiences Contest: Mr. Paul COMRIE-THOMSON!  Paul will receive an autographed copy of Gary B. Born, International Commercial Arbitration (2nd edn., Kluwer Law International, 2014).  Congratulations, Paul!

Although we only received two entries for the Contest, both were well-written and quite different.  Deciding a Winner was no simple task!  We felt both stories exemplified the spirit and purpose of the Arbitrator Intelligence project, and both entries lent insight into the arbitral Award process.  However, there can only be one Winner.  In the end, Member votes broke the tie—pushing Mr. Comrie-Thomson’s New Zealand tale just ahead of Mr. Geoffrey Hartwell’s United Kingdom missive.

Mr. Comrie-Thomson has been a top AI contributor, already receiving ink time on the site.  For those who are not yet familiar with the name, here is some background info:


Paul holds a B.A. from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, and is soon to graduate with an LL.B (Hons).  He works as a legal and policy adviser at the New Zealand Law Commission, where he is currently involved in reviewing New Zealand’s law of extradition and mutual legal assistance.  Additionally, Paul is research assistant to Professor Campbell McLachlan QC, Student Editor-in-Chief of the Victoria University of Wellington Law Review, and tutors legal research, writing and mooting at the Law School.  Paul has a keen interest in both private international law and international arbitration, and intends to conduct postgraduate research in these areas.


“I, alongside others in a private international law course at Victoria University of Wellington Law School, were encouraged by Associate Professor Butler to get involved [in the AI project].  The description of the Project piqued my interest, and led me to read Professor Rogers’s article, “The Vocation of International Arbitrators,” in which the idea underpinning Arbitrator Intelligence was first proposed.  I found convincing the conclusion that the international arbitrator has a justice-rendering function necessitating a degree of transparency, and as I read more of the literature advocating transparency in international arbitration, the more convinced I became.  I started in my hunt for awards referred to in cases in the New Zealand courts in an effort not only to assist the project, but also to discover for myself the difficulties or otherwise in obtaining awards.  The lack of transparency rang true: in refusing applications to have awards released, parties and counsel emphasised the need for confidentiality over transparency.  I look forward to further exploring the debate for transparency in international arbitration, and following Arbitrator Intelligence as it progresses.”