Selecting an appropriate set of rules or arbitration institution is an important step in the arbitration process. The institutions listed above, plus others in the NAFTA countries and elsewhere, offer varying levels of experience and qualifications for particular disputes.

Listed below are some criteria that parties may wish to consider in selecting an appropriate institution. The institutions listed above and others will be happy to provide information on these matters to any parties considering selecting their rules.

A.  History and Experience

      1. When did the institution first begin to administer international arbitrations?
  2. How many international disputes has the organization been involved in?
  3. From what countries have the parties to those disputes come?
  4. Has the institution handled disputes of a similar nature to the subject of the contract?

B.  Method of Selecting Arbitrators

      1. Do the parties have any involvement in selecting the arbitrators, or is it left entirely to the discretion of the institution?  
  2. Does the institution automatically select arbitrators from a neutral nationality, or do they do so only on request of one or both of the parties?
  3. Who is on the roster of potential arbitrators? Do they come from a variety of countries and backgrounds?
  4. Can the parties select arbitrators not on the institution's roster?
  5. Does the institution have arbitrators with expertise in the type of matter that is expected to be disputed?

C.  Conduct of the Arbitral Proceeding

      1. Do the rules of the institution permit flexibility in the arbitration process?  
  2. Do the rules provide for specific time limits for some or all aspects of the arbitration process? If so, are these time limits observed or ignored?
  3. Does the institution limit any procedural rules selected by the parties?
  4. Are the institution's rules of procedure clear and neutral to both parties?

D.  Cost

       1. What are the administrative fees charged by the arbitration institution? Are they fixed or do they vary based on the size of the dispute?
  2. How are the arbitrators paid? Are their fees based on the amount of time spent or on the size of the dispute?
  3. Are there a large number of locally available qualified arbitrators, to reduce travel and accommodation expenses?

E.  Services Offered by the Institution

     1. How large is the staff of the institution?
  2. Is the staff experienced in international disputes?
  3. Does the staff possess language capabilities for the parties in the dispute?
  4. Is the institution a for-profit institution or is it a non-profit institution?
5. Is the institution involved in alliances with other institutions within the NAFTA region or elsewhere, which may facilitate the administration of the arbitration?