On March 1st, the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce’s (“ICC”) newly revised rules designed to enhance efficiency and transparency will become effective. According to the ICC:
Under the Expedited Procedure Rules, the ICC Court will normally appoint a sole arbitrator, irrespective of any contrary term of the arbitration agreement. Awards must be made in six months from the case management conference, with extensions granted only in limited and justified circumstances.
Under the Rules there will be no Terms of Reference and the tribunal will have discretion to decide the case on documents only, with no hearing, no requests to produce documents and no examination of witnesses. The quality control on awards – performed by the ICC Court and its Secretariat through the scrutiny of the award – will however be maintained at its long-established highest level. Finally, a scale providing for significantly reduced fees will apply under the Expedited Procedure Rules.
The revised Expedited Procedure Rules will automatically apply to all ICC arbitral proceedings with less than $2 million in dispute. In addition, parties may choose to utilize the expedited rules for disputes over $2 million.
The ICC has also implemented other amendments including a shorter, one-month “time-limit for the establishment of Terms of Reference, in order to streamline the initial phases of the proceedings.” Additionally, the ICC Court may “provide reasons for its decisions made on challenges, as well as for other decisions, such as prima facie jurisdictional decisions and consolidations, without having to seek consent of all parties, as under the previous Rules.”
The revised ICC International Court of Arbitration rules were formally approved by the ICC Executive Board in October.