Gender and Ethnic Diversity in International Arbitration

The absence of women in international arbitration causes concerns from an equality perspective but also from a representational democracy perspective. Put differently, the absence of women constitutes an issue for the legitimacy of such jurisdictions. This is problematic given that an increasing number of issues are “litigated” via arbitration and that in certain areas, such as in the sports domain, arbitration is the only dispute resolution mechanism available. This paper will explore what is happening in such less visible alternative dispute resolution contexts with regard to women’s participation and what – if any – are the initiatives taken to increase their numbers. This contribution also intends to expand the existing literature by looking at how far the presence of racial minorities in the arbitral context is or is not taken into account and whether and how far the arguments made for women’s participation extend to aspects of racial/ethnic diversity.