ICC Document & publication

Rules for a Pre-Arbitral Referee procedure

The Rules contained in this booklet set out a procedure for quickly dealing with a problem in a contractual relationship which requires urgent attention prior to the constitution of an arbitral tribunal. The problem is submitted to a third person, known as a “referee”, who is empowered to issue an order with the necessary speed and efficiency.

In force as from the 1 January 1990, the Rules for a Pre-Arbitral Referee Procedure enable parties to obtain urgent measures when difficulties arise in contractual relationships, prior to referral to arbitration.

The urgent measures are ordered by a person, called a “Referee”, empowered to make an order designed to meet the urgent problem in issue, including the power to order the preservation or recording of evidence. The measures are binding until the referee or a court or arbitral tribunal decides otherwise.

The Rules contained in this booklet set out a procedure for quickly dealing with a problem in a contractual relationship which requires urgent attention prior to the constitution of an arbitral tribunal. The problem is submitted to a third person, known as a “referee”, who is empowered to issue an order with the necessary speed and efficiency.

Parties have the possibility of choosing the referee themselves by mutual agreement or relying on an appointment by the President of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, who will take into account the circumstances of the case and any preferences expressed by the parties.

This rapid and reasonably priced procedure is particularly appreciated in situations involving parties from different countries, where a neutral forum is sought. The order remains binding until the referee, or a court or arbitral tribunal, decides otherwise.

The ICC Pre-Arbitral Referee Procedure is available for use by any persons, whether or not members of the ICC. It requires a written agreement between the parties. Such an agreement may form part of the parties’ contract or may be made subsequently in a separate document. Model clauses for this purpose can be found at the end of this booklet.


For the convenience of users, the ICC Rules for a Pre-Arbitral Referee Procedure are available in several languages and they may be downloaded from the page here. The English and French versions are the only official texts. Internal 2147489355 Rules in Arabic Internal 214748

Rules for a Pre-Arbitral Referee procedure is also available in:

Arabic: ظام التدابير المؤقتة والتحفظية السابقة للتحكيم الصادر عن غرفة التجارة الدولية

Chinese: 仲裁前公断程序规则

English: Rules for a Pre-Arbitral Referee procedure

French: Règlement de référé pré-arbitral de la CCI

German: Verfahrensordnung für das Pre-Arbitral- Referee-Verfahren

Polish: Regulamin Przedarbitrażowego Postępowania Referendarskiego

Portuguese: Regulamento de Procedimento Cautelar Pré-Arbitral

Spanish: Reglamento de Procedimiento Precautorio Prearbitral

Thai: Rules for a Pre-Arbitral Referee Procedure Thai version