New 2012 ICC Rules of Arbitration

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Court of Arbitration is one of the world’s leading forums for resolving international commercial, business, and construction disputes. As of January 1, 2012, The ICC International Court of Arbitration has implemented revised Rules of Arbitration that govern how arbitral tribunals conduct hearings.

The new ICC Rules of Arbitration will affect all new cases filed via the International Court of Arbitration on or after the first of the year. The new rules reinforce the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the arbitration process. Key changes to the rules include:

- Defined provisions to address disputes involving multiple contracts and parties;
- Updated case management procedures;
- New provisions for the appointment of an emergency arbitrator to order urgent measures;
- New changes that facilitate how disputes arising under investment treaties and free trade agreements are handled.

Some specific changes include the following:

- The arbitral tribunal will directly decide decisions allowing arbitrations to proceed regarding jurisdictional objections, unless the Secretary General refers the matter to the Court for its decision (Article 6.3).

- Existing parties may “join” new parties to the arbitration until any arbitrator is appointed or confirmed. This will allow respondents to join new parties to the arbitration, in contrast with the former practice that only allowed claimants to join new parties (Article 7).

- Claims between multiple parties are addressed in Article 8 and 9, and include these rules:

- In an arbitration with multiple parties, claims may be made by any party against any other party, until the Terms of Reference are signed (Article 8.1).

- Claims arising out of more than one contract may be made in a single arbitration, even if claims are made under more than one arbitration agreement (Article 9).

- The ICC Court is now allowed to set time limits for national committees to nominate arbitrators (Article 13.3), and may appoint an arbitrator directly (Article 13.4).

- Arbitrators must hold a case management conference to discuss procedural matters to be adopted with the parties (Article 24.1), and include examples of case management techniques that could be applied by the tribunal and parties (Appendix IV).

- Arbitrators are required to inform the Secretariat and the parties of the date by which they expect to submit the draft aware to the Court for approval. (Article 27)

- Provisions for an emergency arbitrator are made in Article 29:

- Parties are allowed to apply for an emergency arbitrator to decide on measures that cannot await the constitution of a tribunal (Article 29.1).

- The arbitral tribunal may modify, terminate, or annul an order made by the emergency arbitrator (Article 29.3).

- The emergency arbitrator rules apply only to parties that are signatories or successors of signatories of the arbitration agreement (Article 29.5).

- Minor changes to the syntax of some rules have been made.

For attorneys and experts that participate in the ICC forums, these changes could bring greater efficiency to arbitration proceedings, as well as provide more structure and flexibility. More discussion on the new rules is available from the international law firms of Reed Smith, here, and at White & Case, here. The 2012 ICC International Court of Arbitration Rules of Arbitration is available for download from the ICC website, in seven languages.

Interface Consulting’s construction experts have testified in numerous ICC arbitration cases, as well as in other major international forums such as the London Court of Arbitration (LCIA), International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). For more information on Interface Consulting, and our role in litigation and arbitration support, please visit our website.

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