12 ICC Dispute Resolution achievements of 2019 

  • 14 January 2020
ICC Court of Arbitration

Resolving commercial disputes efficiently and cost-effectively is an ICC priority, as it advances our purpose to secure peace, prosperity and opportunity for all.

But our Dispute Resolution Services go far beyond case management to include pioneering discussions and activities that steer the future course of dispute resolution, engaging with arbitration and ADR users around the world and encouraging the next generation of dispute resolution professionals.

We’ve rounded up 12 highlights from our busy year to demonstrate the breadth and impact of our dispute resolution work.

1. We announced a new record for arbitration awards in 2018

The International Court of Arbitration (ICC Court) of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) announced that it had registered a total of 842 new cases in 2018 – the second-highest total of registered cases ever. The 2018 dispute resolution statistical report also revealed figures that reflected the ICC Court’s efforts to further improve efficiency, diversity and transparency. ICC  also recently announced record dispute resolution figures for 2019.

ICC Court President Alexis Mourre said the continued growth reflected ICC’s global expansion efforts and “level of trust placed in our superior-quality, neutral services that support trade and investment in volatile times.”

The ICC International Centre for ADR (Centre for ADR) announced it had beaten previously established records, with 70 cases registered in 2018 under the ICC Mediation, Expertise, Dispute Board and DOCDEX Rules. In January, the Centre for ADR announced it had filed 61 new cases in 2019.

2. ICC was recognised as a global standard-setter

ICC was called on to act as Amicus Curiae in two high-profile hearings, to provide credible third-party legal opinions. ICC’s position was sought to help the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom determine when an arbitrator should disclose information that may challenge his or her impartiality and by the Egyptian Supreme Court to consider the definition of an arbitral institution. During the latter hearing, the Egyptian Supreme Court referred to a parliamentary debate held on the Egyptian Arbitration Law in which a delegate to the government had referred to the ICC Court as “a global benchmark for arbitration institutions”.

3. We enhanced the skills of the next generation of mediators

ICC’s biggest educational event of the year, the ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition brought together students from 32 countries, to try out their mediation skills in simulated situations based on real-world cases. The 65 student teams were guided by more than 150 established ADR professionals – who participate in the Competition every year as volunteer mediators and judges – ensuring the future of mediation is in good hands. We’re looking forward to the 15th edition, which is set to kick off on 6 February 2020.

4. We announced our most diverse Young Arbitrators Forum

The practitioners’ network of ICC’s Young Arbitrators Forum (YAF), made up of over 10,000 members, announced regional representatives undertaking a new two-year mandate. The new group of professionals goes down in ICC history as the most diverse yet in terms of region and gender.

5. We raised greater awareness of the strategic importance of arbitration in Africa

In June, the 4th edition of the ICC Africa Conference on International Arbitration took place in Lagos, Nigeria. Co-organised by ICC Nigeria, the annual event contributed to increased awareness of the strategic importance of arbitration in the dispute resolution process in Africa and beyond. Additionally, the ICC Africa Commission, created to expressly to coordinate ICC’s expanding range of activities and growth on the continent, continued its work through activities such as identifying areas of cooperation between ICC Belt and Road Commission.

6. We launched a new ICC DRS app

Helping dispute resolution users and professional in the digital age, we launched a brand-new mobile application for rapid and convenient access to ICC rules and information from both ICC’s International Court of Arbitration and Centre for ADR.

7. We became an authorised institution under Mainland China-Hong Kong arrangement on interim relief

ICC was named an authorised institution under Mainland China-Hong Kong arrangement on interim relief. Alexis Mourre, ICC Court President, said the development would “further increase the attractiveness of ICC Arbitration in cases involving Chinese parties.”

8. We published a new toolkit to streamline dispute resolution in relation to climate disputes

With the number of climate-related disputes expected to grow in the coming years, ICC issued a practical toolkit to equip users and practitioners working on these specialised cases. The Resolving Climate Change-Related Disputes through Arbitration and ADR Report was launched in Paris in November and has scheduled a second event set to be held in New York on 21 January. The document not only explains why arbitration and ADR work for climate change-related disputes but also covers the definition of climate change-related disputes, includes case studies to showcase real scenarios, overs guidance on specific features to effectively resolve disputes of this nature and provides sample wording for parties.

9. We celebrated the 40th anniversary of the ICC Institute 

The Institute of World Business Law celebrated 40th years on 17 December during their Annual Conference. The ICC think-tank was first established in 1979 with the help of Pierre Lalive, Serge Lazareff and Yves Derains, the former Secretary General of the ICC Court and Founding Partner of the law firm Derains & Gharavi. Their objective was to spur innovation in the development of law and global business practices through research and training. While much has changed since its founding, the ICC Institute continues to foster wider knowledge and development of the law and practices of global business through research and capacity building

10. And rewarded legal writing excellence

The ICC Institute named Tobias Lutzi laureate of its biennial prize for his pioneering thesis on regulating the Internet through private international law. A total of 18 submissions were received for this 7th edition of the esteemed Institute Prize, which is open to anyone 40 years of age or under. Mr Lutzi hopes his work will help highlight the importance of finding solutions to solve today’s legal tensions arising from the use of the web and prompt further academic discussion. The next competition will be in 2021.

11. We brought our dispute resolution service closer to users worldwide

ICC’s roster of high-quality events ensured that dispute resolution users and professionals worldwide were keeping pace with developments in the field. From Abu Dhabi to Tokyo, specialised trainings, networking events, annual regional conferences and other ICC hosted events took place in every region of the world. Be sure to look out for upcoming activities in your region in 2020, such as the ICC-FIDIC Conference on Construction Contracts and the ICC MENA Conference on International Arbitration.

12. We stayed socially connected

2019 was a great year for engagement with ICC dispute resolution followers across our range of social media accounts. Many thanks to our close to 50,000 followers for their interactions through our dedicated LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profiles.

Discover more ICC achievements in 2019