Between periods at White & Case LLP, Judge Brower has served in the United States Department of State (1969–1973), concluding as acting legal adviser; judge of the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal (1983–present); deputy special counsellor to the president of the United States (1987); judge ad hoc of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (1999–2002); and judge ad hoc of the International Court of Justice in three contentious proceedings (2014–present).
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PURSUE A CAREER IN THE LAW?
Actually practising law. Before that I was just going to punch a ticket on the way to entering the American Foreign Service.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR ROLE AS ARBITRATOR?
Having only the single goal of deciding the dispute to the very best of my ability.
HOW HAS INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION CHANGED SINCE YOU FIRST BEGAN PRACTISING?
It has grown from strictly contractual disputes to include many treaty-based ones affecting public interests, which in turn has raised many controversial issues.
WHAT QUALITIES MAKE A SUCCESSFUL INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATOR?
Broad experience of life combined with unbiased, informed, sound judgement, which in turn inspires confidence.
WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST CHALLENGING ABOUT SITTING AS JUDGE AD HOC IN INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNALS?
The same challenge as confronts a member of a nation’s highest court: Knowledge of the necessarily broad impact of a judgment on the parties to the dispute.
WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL BE THE GREATEST CHALLENGE FACED BY THE NEXT GENERATION OF ARBITRATION PRACTITIONERS?
If there is a “revolution” in the field, such as that proposed by the EU, it will be that. If “evolution” succeeds, the challenges will be less.
WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF CAREER ADVICE YOU HAVE RECEIVED?
Shakespeare said it: “This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
WHERE, IN YOUR OPINION, DOES THE FUTURE OF THE PRACTICE AREA LIE?
The future of the practice area is secure, notwithstanding whatever adjustments it may be required to make, as disputes will arise eternally.
Charles Brower is a distinguished arbitration specialist who commands great respect for his vast experience handling complex contentious proceedings.