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Arbitrator impartiality and procedural fairness are expected in international arbitration. However, international arbitration simultaneously serves other goals, including the recognition and enforceability of awards that are more difficult to attain in other types of dispute resolution. When parties sign an arbitration agreement, they undergo a binding dispute resolution process that leads to a binding award. However, Croatia v. Slovenia, a unique case, highlighted the conflict between the binding nature of the award and the integrity of arbitral proceedings. When a party engages in ex parte communications with a party-appointed arbitrator, is the arbitral process necessarily threatened? The article will discuss the background of the controversy between Croatia and Slovenia regarding the Bay of Piran/Savudrija, the Partial Award issued by the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the Tribunal’s rationale, and the expectation of the parties to settle their disputes in good faith and in accordance with arbitrator impartiality, independence, and procedural fairness.



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