Home / News & Speeches / New ICC Dispute Board Rules emphasizing dispute avoidance enter into force on 1 October

New Rules governing ICC Dispute Boards will come into effect on 1 October 2015. A half-day global launch is scheduled to take place on 28 September 2015 at ICC Global Headquarters in Paris.

The half-day global launch will provide an introduction to the nature, purpose and operation of the new Rules and offer a chance to discuss the role of dispute boards in preventing disputes and resolving them quickly as well as their costs and expenses.

Dispute boards are independent bodies designed to avoid and resolve disagreements between parties as they arise during the performance of an often long-term or mid-term contract. The event is open to anyone wishing to learn about or likely to use the ICC Dispute Board Rules, in particular, corporate counsel, and corporate managers, practicing lawyers, dispute resolution specialists and academics interested in ADR.

The new ICC Dispute Board Rules increase the emphasis on dispute avoidance. In fact one of the most valuable functions of a dispute board is to help the parties to avoid disputes, either by encouraging them to do so on their own or by providing them with informal assistance.

Peter Wolrich, Partner, Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt and Mosle LLP; Co-Chair of Curtis’ Arbitration Practice and Chairman of the ICC Task Force revising the Rules, highlighted the importance of the new Rules, stating: “The new ICC Dispute Board Rules increase the emphasis on dispute avoidance. In fact one of the most valuable functions of a dispute board is to help the parties to avoid disputes, either by encouraging them to do so on their own or by providing them with informal assistance.”

The replacement of current Rules dating from 2004 follows three years of revision undertaken by the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR that started in 2012 and received broad input from the international dispute board community, including from the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) and members of other Dispute Resolution Board Associations.

Nael Bunni, Bunni & Associates, said: “Together with other ICC procedures, the new Rules form a complete scheme of dealing with most of the hurdles that may arise from the moment that a dispute board is sought to the end of its activities. This process may involve problems in choosing the most appropriate dispute board team for a particular contract; deciding on its remuneration; its appointment; challenges; rendering an opinion or a conclusion; and dealing with an allegation of lack of due process.”

What’s new?
The new Rules stress three distinct services of dispute boards: (1) Avoidance of Disagreements, (2) Informal Assistance with Disagreements and (3) Formal Referral for a Conclusion. In the revised Rules, all three functions are listed under a single heading entitled ‘The Three Services Provided by the Dispute Board’. The new Rules put particular emphasis on dispute avoidance with Article 16 providing,

inter alia, that at any time a dispute board believes that a potential disagreement may be arising between the parties, the dispute board may raise the matter with the parties and encourage them to try to avoid the disagreement on their own without any further involvement of the dispute board.

Although the Rules cannot bind Arbitral Tribunals or State Courts, they are binding on the parties who have agreed to them in their underlying contract. Therefore, proposed language has been added to strengthen the obligations of the parties. Other changes concern the power of dispute boards to decide on provisional measures and an added service offered by ICC regarding the decision on the fees of the dispute board members. Like the previous Rules, the new ICC Dispute Board Rules allow the parties to choose a Dispute Resolution Board (DRB), a Dispute Adjudication Board (DAB) or a Combined Dispute Board (CDB).

The ICC services under the new ICC Dispute Board Rules are administered by the ICC International Centre for ADR. Such services include, upon request of the parties, appointment of Dispute Board members, dealing with a challenge raised against Dispute Board members, fixing their fees and review of a DAB or a CDB decisions.

The launch event is free of charge and sponsored by White&Case. To pre-register and for further information about the event, please contact Angela Rath at disputeboards@iccwbo.org.

For more information:
Dispute Boards
ICC International Centre for ADR

Global Launch of the New ICC Dispute Board Rules in ICC Headquarters on Monday, 28 September 2015 (14:00-18:00).

For further information, please contact

  • Alexis CHIBLIS
  • + 33 (0)1 49 53 28 76
  • Media Relations and Web Assistant , Global Communications