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CAfA Arbitrators

In addition to the provisions of Article 11 of the NAI Arbitration Rules, arbitrators must be appointed from among the Arbitrator Pool compiled jointly by the CAfA Board and the NAI based upon their backgrounds and experience in handling art (law) disputes. Exceptions may be allowed by the NAI Administrator (in consultation with the CAfA Board), but only in the event of compelling reasons, such as the desirability of an arbitrator with a very specific background and the absence of such an arbitrator in the Arbitrator Pool (see Articles 11(6)(7) and 13(4) CAfA Arbitration Rules). Article 13(4) of the CAfA Arbitration Rules describes the procedure to obtain such authorization to deviate from this requirement.

Except in relatively small value matters of less than € 1,500,000 or in cases where the parties have  agreed to an arbitral tribunal consisting of one arbitrator, the arbitral tribunal shall be composed of three members. Thus for objects of art valued at or above € 1,500,000, the proceedings shall be conducted before three arbitrator panels. For objects of art valued below € 1,500,000, the parties shall conduct their arbitration proceedings before a sole arbitrator.

In the case of appointment of a sole arbitrator, the parties shall use their best efforts to jointly agree upon that appointment from the Arbitrator Pool under Article 13(1) of the CAfA Arbitration Rules. If the parties are unable to so agree, then the NAI Administrator shall appoint the arbitrator pursuant to the list procedure in Article 14 of the CAfA Arbitration Rules.

In the case of appointment of a three-member arbitral tribunal, each party shall select one arbitrator from the Arbitrator Pool under Article 13(2) of the CAfA Arbitration Rules, and those two selected arbitrators shall jointly agree upon the selection of a third arbitrator from the Arbitrator Pool under Article 13(3) of the CAfA Arbitration Rules.

In all cases, the chairperson of every arbitral tribunal must have a university legal background.


Court of Arbitration for Art  Selection Criteria Arbitrators & Mediators

Arbitrator Criteria

1. (formerly) admitted private practice lawyers, judges, law professors.

2. 5 years of significant experience in at least one relevant field, including (without limitation):
(a) authenticity;
(b) chain of title of art or cultural property (including heritage/patrimony/restitution);
(c) purchase and sale of works of art through private sale and/or auction;
(d) copyright in the field of art;
(e) insurance of fine art or cultural property;
(f) museum exhibition and loan agreements;
(g) loan agreements (non-museum);
(i) taxation, trusts, estates & succession;
(j) import/export regulations; and/or
(k) international arbitration.

Mediator Criteria

1. same criteria as arbitrators.

2. 5 years of significant experience as mediator.

3. advanced mediation training or certification from mediation-organizations such as the International Mediation Institute and/or membership in roster of recognized ADR provider or Court ADR Program. 


CAfA arbitrator pool

The CAfA arbitrator pool can be found here.



Arbitrators may ask the Netherlands Arbitration Institute to appoint a secretary to perform certain activities for the arbitral tribunal. The allocation of activities is determined by the arbitrators. The secretary works under the responsibility of the arbitrators and the arbitrators are always responsible for actions of the secretary as well as for the award. Just like the arbitrators, the secretary must be fully independent and impartial.

The NAI offers lawyers who are interested in NAI arbitration a basic course for NAI secretaries. Young lawyers who are interested in arbitration may also sign up for NAI Young Arbitration Practitioners (NAI Jong Oranje).


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