ICC Guidance Note on Possible Measures Aimed at Mitigating the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic
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This note provides guidance to parties, counsel and tribunals on possible measures that may be considered to mitigate the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on ICC arbitrations
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This note provides guidance to parties, counsel and tribunals on possible measures that may be considered to mitigate the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on ICC Arbitrations (the “Guidance Note”). COVID-19 is a health catastrophe that is massively disrupting the global economy. It will both disrupt many pending ICC Arbitrations and generate new disputes that may themselves be more difficult to progress due to safety concerns and public health restrictions imposed to limit or slow the virus’s spread. However, parties, counsel and tribunals can minimise and perhaps even avoid such disruption and difficulty by thoughtful use of case management tools that are either already available through the ICC Arbitration Rules (“Rules”) or by the additional steps the ICC International Court of Arbitration (“Court”) is taking to streamline its internal processes.
The Court recognises the important role that parties, counsel and tribunals play in ensuring that disputes will continue to be resolved on a fair, expeditious, and cost-effective basis. This Guidance Note: (I) recalls the procedural tools available to parties, counsel and tribunals to mitigate the delays generated by the pandemic through greater efficiency, and (II) provides guidance concerning the organisation of conferences and hearings in light of COVID-19 considerations, including conducting such conferences and hearings by audioconference, videoconference, or other similar means of communication (“virtual hearing”). To the extent relevant, it may serve in the context of other ICC ADR proceedings as well.