ICC releases Guide for Disability Inclusion in International Arbitration and ADR

  • 30 October 2023

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The new guide addresses the needs of persons with disabilities participating in international arbitration and ADR procedures and beyond.

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ICC has released a guide on Disability Inclusion in International Arbitration and ADR. Produced by the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR , the ground-breaking publication provides clear guidance to address and accommodate the needs of people with disabilities participating in arbitral and ADR procedures or other activities and events in the field of dispute prevention and resolution.

By providing actionable guidance to practitioners, arbitrators, arbitral institutions, and associations, the guide aims to drive disability inclusion within the field of dispute resolution by providing specific recommendations and checklists along with other practical tools.

Aligned with the ICC Centenary Declaration on Dispute Prevention and Resolution the guide builds on ICC’s cutting-edge work on diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of dispute prevention and resolution. The guide paves the way for more disability inclusion initiatives in the world of international arbitration and ADR.

Initiated by Claudia Salomon upon taking office as President of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, a task force on disability inclusion in international arbitration and ADR was established in December 2021. Its primary objective is to relieve persons with a disability of the burdens they face and lead an inclusive conversation on advancing awareness and inclusion in all stages and activities in international arbitration in ADR. Led by persons with a disability and their allies, the task force of over 50 members from 26 jurisdictions worked for one year and a half on the pioneering guide. The task force was co-chaired by Simon Maynard, Senior Associate at King and Spalding in the United Kingdom; Todd Weiler, Independent arbitrator at Arbitra International, in Canada; and Katherine Ramo, Head of Pro Bono Practice and Of Counsel CMS in the UK.

Download the Guide on Disability Inclusion in International Arbitration and ADR on top of the page.

The Guide on Disability Inclusion in International Arbitration and ADR begins with an introduction and is followed by three main sections.

Simon Maynard and Todd Weiler, Task Force’s co-chairs, said:

The Guide is an essential first step to placing disability on a level playing field with other protected characteristics. The Guide allows practitioners to educate themselves about the meaning of disability and how it can intersect with the practice of arbitration.

Professor Albert-Jan van den Berg, Awareness Ambassador to the Task Force and international arbitrator and founding partner at Hanotiau & van den Berg said:

The ICC Disability Guide is an indispensable tool in the arbitrator’s toolbox.

Katherine Ramo, Task Force co-chair said:

It is an honour to be part of this impactful life-changing ICC initiative for people with disabilities in ADR and International Arbitration. We have only just begun. We look forward to continuing the clarion call for global disability equity and inclusion.

Dr. Hélène van Lith, Secretary to the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR said:

Working with the members of this task force was eye-opening and a privilege, I am very grateful for the trust they have put in ICC to share their experiences and guidance to increase awareness of disability inclusion in dispute resolution. Let’s continue the conversation, now with these basic and concrete tools!

Claudia Salomon, President, ICC International Court of Arbitration:

If we just ask if there are any disability inclusion issues to consider, we can change the conversation.

Melanie van Leeuwen, Chair to the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR

From now on, it is good practice to place disability inclusion as a default item on the agenda of any first case management conference or procedural meeting.