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Underrepresentation in International Arbitration: Challenges of Arbitrator representation from the Global South countries

  • 6 Sep 2021
  • 16:00
  • Online via Zoom & YouTube


  • These tickets are open to the public.
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A webinar presented by the Alternative Dispute Resolution Think Tank Programme.

In the last few years, the business and arbitration community have been discussing the issue of diversity and underrepresentation in the field of international arbitration.

The 2021 International Arbitration Survey “Adapting arbitration to a changing world” conducted by Queen Mary University of London, the School of International Arbitration shows that a majority of respondents has noted the progress in the matter of gender diversity on arbitral tribunals for the last three years. Nevertheless, less than a third of respondents assume there has been progress in respect of geographic, age, cultural and, particularly, ethnic diversity.

In this regard, the panel will address diverse issues and factors that enhance or hinder young legal practitioners from the entry into international arbitration practice to the appointment of arbitrators through the lens of the Global South situation.   


Dr Kabir Duggal is an attorney in Arnold and Porter's New York office focusing on international investment arbitration, international commercial arbitration, and public international law matters, serving both as arbitrator and counsel. He is also a Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia Law School and a Course Director and Faculty Member for the Columbia Law School-Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Comprehensive Course on International Arbitration. He acts as a Consultant for the United Nations Office of the High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) on the creation of a novel "Investment Support Program." He has conducted training and capacity-building sessions for several Governments including Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar, India, Philippines among others on public international law and dispute resolution matters. He also serves on the Federal Republic of Somalia’s New York Convention Task Force as well as the WTO Negotiating Team (International Board). He has published over 40 articles and has spoken at over 300 arbitration events all over the world. He is the Co-Founder of R.E.A.L. (Racial Equality for Arbitration Lawyers), a non-profit seeking to create greater representation in international arbitration. He is a graduate of the University of Mumbai, University of Oxford (DHL-Times of India Scholar), NYU School of Law (Hauser Global Scholar), Leiden Law School (2019 CEPANI Academic Prize), and is currently pursuing an SJD Degree from Harvard Law School. 

Ms. Elizabeth Shin is a foreign legal counsel in the International Arbitration Team at Lee & Ko, the second largest law firm in Korea. She started her legal career at Clifford Chance in Seoul before moving to Lee & Ko in 2015. Ms Shin represents global corporations, leading domestic conglomerates and high-net-worth individuals in cross-border disputes, and mainly focuses on IP & technology, construction and investor-state disputes. She is experienced in conducting cases under all major international arbitration institutional rules, including ICC, LCIA, SIAC, KCAB and SCC. Ms Shin has an LLM in International and Comparative Commercial Law from SOAS, University of London. She completed her LPC at BPP Law School before qualifying as an attorney in New York, U.S.

This session will be moderated by the Fellow of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Think Tank Programme Dr Emilia Onyema.

Dr Emilia Onyema is a Professor of International Commercial Law at SOAS University of London where she teaches international commercial arbitration and international investment law. She is qualified to practice law in Nigeria and as a Solicitor in England & Wales. She is Fellow of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and independent arbitrator. She convenes the SOAS Arbitration in Africa conference series and leads the SOAS Arbitration in Africa biennial survey research project. Her research interests focus on the development of international arbitration in Africa and the engagement of Africans in international arbitration. She has experience as presiding, co and sole arbitrator, and as expert witness in international commercial arbitration.

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