ICC launches new rules of arbitration

  • 12 September 2011
International Court of Arbitration

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has launched a much-anticipated revised version of its Rules of arbitration with the aim of better serving the existing and future needs of businesses and governments engaged in international commerce and investment.

The new Rules will come into force on 1 January 2012 and take into account current requirements and developments in arbitration practice and procedure, as well as developments in information technology, since they were last revised in 1998.

Approved in Mexico City by the ICC World Council in June, additions to the Rules include provisions to address disputes involving multiple contracts and parties; updated case management procedures; the appointment of an emergency arbitrator to order urgent measures; and changes to facilitate the handling of disputes arising under investment treaties and free trade agreements.

Other amendments have also been made to ensure that the arbitral process is conducted in an expeditious and cost-effective manner.

In answer to the growing demand for a more holistic approach to dispute resolution techniques, the new Rules are published in a booklet that also includes the ICC ADR Rules, which provide for mediation and other forms of amicable dispute resolution. Both sets of Rules define a structured, institutional framework intended to ensure transparency, efficiency and fairness in the dispute resolution process while allowing parties to exercise their choice over many aspects of procedure.

John Beechey, Chairman of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, said: “It is one of the principal aims of the International Court of Arbitration to ensure that its Rules promote efficiency in the arbitral process and that they reflect current practice, consistent with the overriding objective of doing justice between the parties.

“To the extent that it was thought necessary to do so, new measures and procedures have been introduced, such that the 2012 Rules of Arbitration respond to today’s business needs while remaining faithful to the ethos, and retaining the essential features, of ICC Arbitration.”

The revision process began in 2008 and was undertaken by a small drafting committee of up to 20 members, supported by a wider task force of 202 members and a consultation process with ICC national committees around the world and the ICC Commission on Arbitration.

“A great many dispute resolution specialists and corporate users from different legal traditions, cultures and professions had an opportunity to comment on the drafts, make suggestions and record their views,” said Jason Fry, Secretary General of the ICC International Court of Arbitration. “With this revision of the rules we have tried, in particular, to listen to the users of international arbitration, whether they come from business or government. Many of the new provisions in the rules have been shaped with their input.”

Peter Wolrich, Managing Partner, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle, France; and Chairman of the ICC Commission on Arbitration said: “The International Court of Arbitration is at the cutting edge of change, continuously working to promote greater efficiency through the innovative design of new tools and procedures. The new Rules meet the growing complexity of today’s business transactions, the needs surrounding disputes involving states, and the demand for greater speed and cost-efficiency.”

A sold-out launch conference taking place in Paris today will give over 270 participants a comprehensive overview of the changes to the Rules and a valuable chance to have direct interaction with several drafting group experts.

Other launch events are scheduled to take place in New York (19 September), Hong Kong (10 October), Singapore (12 October), Dubai (31 October), and Miami (6 November).

The Rules are available in several languages and are intended for use by parties in any part of the world in proceedings conducted in any language and subject to any rules of law.

ICC is not only a trusted provider of arbitration but also of other dispute resolution services. The launch of the new Rules coincides with the launch of the ICC International Centre for ADR, previously informally known as the ICC “green services”. The Centre oversees ICC Amicable Dispute Resolution, Expertise, Dispute Boards and DOCDEX (Documentary Instruments Dispute Resolution Expertise), helping to secure settlements efficiently with minimal loss of time and resources.

To download a copy of the ICC Rules of Arbitration visit the International Court of Arbitration website

To register for upcoming launch conferences please visit the Events and Trainings website