Rule 73 – Immunity of tribunal etc. Mandatory
238.Rule 73 is a mandatory rule which ensures that the role of arbitrators is not compromised by lack of immunity, and that actions for damages against arbitrators are not used as a way for a party to the arbitration to challenge or re-open the arbitration itself.
239.Rule 73(1) provides that an arbitrator is not to be liable in damages for anything done or omitted in the exercise or discharge of his or her functions as arbitrator, unless under rule 73(2)(a) that act or omission is shown to have been in bad faith. This means that immunity will extend to all the arbitrators functions, namely those under the Act and also those supplemented by contractual provisions of a separate arbitration agreement.
240.In relation to resignation, rule 73(2)(b) provides that the immunity does not affect any liability incurred by the arbitrator by reason of his resigning. Rule 16(1)(c) on the resignation of the arbitrator provides protection for a resigning arbitrator by allowing the court to grant relief from liability if it is satisfied that in all the circumstances it was reasonable for the arbitrator to resign.
241.Rule 73(3) extends immunity to any clerk, employee or agent of the arbitrator or any other person assisting the tribunal to perform its functions.