The Standard of Proof for Corruption in International Arbitration
The Standard of Proof for Corruption in International Arbitration
Assad Bishara
ABSTRACT: This article aims to undertake a review and examination of the different applicable standards of proof for corruption in international arbitration. More specifically, it aims to discuss the defined, as well as permissible, boundaries of the jurisdiction of international arbitration tribunals and the varying obstacles that international tribunals face when exercising their mandate. It considers the ramifications of finding corruption once pitted against national law while also contemplating the manner in which the lack of clear and identifiable international standards of proof has led to a compendium of jurisprudence. As a point of departure, this article will review the definition of corruption and situate it within a cultural context, given that it vertically permeates into a larger arena, notably that of international commercial agreements. The case law that is reviewed in this article will reveal that given the inherent desire and necessity of parties to conceal and erase any trace of corruption if committed, tribunals are invariably left with the task of outlining and defining the boundaries under which parties are invited to submit their pleadings; i.e. the requisite amount of evidence to satisfy the tribunal or court of the allegation one party makes, while also forcing a revision of the scope allowed for a rebuttal. Corruption is an increasingly difficult issue to prove and this article will review whether the requirement of an elevated standard of proof stretches these issues beyond what is reasonable.

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