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ACICA aims for equality in arbitration

ACICA aims for equality in arbitration

Alex Baykitch, ACICA

The Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA) has signed a pledge to improve the representation of women in arbitration and to appoint women as arbitrators on an equal opportunity basis.

The Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge is the result of a collaborative effort between global representatives of the arbitration community, drawn together by a Steering Committee in 2015.

The two key objectives of the Pledge, which was launched last month, are to improve the profile and representation of women in arbitration, and to appoint women as arbitrators on an equal opportunity basis.

ACICA president Alex Baykitch (pictured) last week signed the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge on behalf of the institution.

"ACICA is committed to encouraging greater diversity and female participation in arbitration," said Deborah Tomkinson, secretary general of ACICA.

"Over the past five years, one quarter of the appointments made by ACICA has been of female arbitrators. The level of party appointments of female arbitrators has been significantly lower."

She continued: "We hope that signature of the Pledge will act to highlight this issue and increase the consideration and appointment of female candidates of equal qualification by parties and their counsel."

Commentary to the Pledge said that those involved in drafting the Pledge recognise the need to support an increase in diversity in all forms in the field of arbitration.

The intention is not to exclude other diversity initiatives, but rather that the Pledge aspires to be 'a first step in the direction of achieving more equal representation of all under-represented groups in our arbitration community'.

ACICA has said it will continue to encourage greater female representation in arbitration in Australia, increased transparency in the appointment process and in the level of female panel membership, and supports the initiatives of organisations that work to promote women in arbitration.

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