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Part II Staking Out Theoretical Boundaries and Building the Regime, 8 Herodotian Myths and the Impartiality of Arbitrators

From: Ethics in International Arbitration

Catherine A. Rogers

From: Oxford Legal Research Library (http://olrl.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 27 November 2020

This chapter debunks the Herodotian myth of absolute impartiality in discussing the function of self-regulation within the context of international arbitration. Renowned historian Herodotus was also known for his embellishments of historical characters as impossible, transcendent hero figures — a myth that has often been extended towards judges and arbitrators with regard to impartiality. Such a delusion of absolute objectivity, the chapter argues, is detrimental to the efficiencies that could have been otherwise engendered with ethical self-regulation. Arbitrators are not mythic figures of impartiality — rather, they are professionals who recognize that effective professional ethics is not isolated from, but grounded on, real-world influences, especially the market forces. In this context, lofty, high-minded views of impartiality can only undermine rather than inspire confidence in professional ethics.

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