On its face, bifurcating the proceedings is usually an attractive proposition. It ought to make sense in most proceedings to hive off certain discrete issues for early determination by the tribunal in the hope of streamlining the process or, possibly, eliminating the arbitration entirely. The generally accepted view is that bifurcation of proceedings promotes efficiency. However, an examination of the limited available empirical data on bifurcation of disputes shows that, contrary to this view, bifurcation does not always necessarily result in the tribunal issuing a final award more promptly.
In this article, the author challenges the assumption that bifurcation always promotes efficiency and emphasizes the need to examine each case on its own merits before ordering bifurcation.Journal of International Arbitration