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ICC introduces a new expedited procedure for arbitration cases

International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has recently made changes to its Rules of Arbitration. The amendments, which came into force on 1 March 2017, include the introduction of an Expedited Procedure for small claims. The general purpose of the amendments is to provide greater efficiency and transparency to the arbitration process.

A DEMAND FOR MORE COST-EFFECTIVE ARBITRATION

There has over time been an increasing discontent with the high costs and slowness of international arbitration proceedings, and many parties have been looking for more cost-effective means of dispute resolution. The introduction of an Expedited Procedure is an attempt from the ICC to meet these needs and address the recent criticism.

TO WHICH CASES THE EXPEDITED PROCEDURE RULES WILL APPLY

Under the new ICC Rules, the Expedited Procedure Rules will mainly apply to claims for amounts not exceeding USD 2 million. The Expedited Procedure may, however, also apply to other cases if the parties agree on this in their arbitration agreement.
The Expedited Procedure will not be available where the arbitration agreement was concluded before 1 March 2017, or if the parties have opted-out of the Expedited Procedure in their arbitration agreement. In addition, the ICC Court may decide – either as a result of a motion from a party or of its own accord – that the Expedited Procedure is not appropriate for that particular case.

KEY FEATURES

The Expedited Procedure is set out in article 30 and appendix VI of the ICC Rules of Arbitration. The principal differences compared to the ordinary rules are:

FURTHER AMENDMENTS TO THE ICC RULES

In addition to the Expedited Procedure Rules, the ICC has also made a number of other changes to the ICC Rules, which are designed to increase the efficiency and the transparency of ICC arbitrations. For instance, the Court may now provide reasons for a wide range of its decisions upon the request of any party, rather than upon agreement of all parties as was previously the case. Other changes include reducing the time limit for agreeing Terms of Reference from two months to 30 days from when the arbitral tribunal received the case file.

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