The Paris-based International Court of Arbitration enables expedited procedure
A new version of the Arbitration Rules came into force on 1 March. These include an expedited procedure for cases with a dispute value of up to two million US dollars.
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), a leading organization in global economics, hosts the oldest internationally recognized arbitral institution in the world. The framework for arbitral proceedings set up in 2012 is set by the Arbitration Rules. These rules have now been amended and are in effect from 1 March.
With the aim of keeping the procedure efficient and facing a growing number of cases, the expedited procedure offers faster procedures and a reduced scale of fees, also much to the benefit of disputing parties. In general the new procedure is used for cases with a dispute value of up to two million US dollars. The new rules automatically apply to arbitration agreements concluded after 1 March.
Another important feature of the Expedited Procedure Rules is that the ICC Court may appoint a sole arbitrator, even if the arbitration agreement states otherwise. The expedited procedure is also allowed for higher amounts, if requested by both parties. To further enhance the efficacy of ICC arbitrations, the time limit for establishing Terms of Reference is reduced from two months to one month, and there are no Terms of Reference in the expedited procedure.
Using the faster procedure may restrict the parties’ positions submitted by number and scope, as well as the possibility to request documents from the other party. Thus, although the procedure may be simplified, at the same time the parties’ rights, while equal, are somewhat limited compared to conventional arbitration.
Disputes over two million dollars are rare in Estonia, which makes the expedited procedure applicable to most cases. Should the parties wish to avoid the expedited procedure they have the option of stating so in their arbitration agreement. This should be kept in mind while concluding agreements in order to adjust the wording of the dispute settlement clause.