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CIArb announces international arbitration rules, looks to set up court

The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) has launched updated, internationally applicable arbitration rules and has announced it will establish a court. 10 Sep 2015

The new rules are based on the UNCITRAL arbitration rules of 2010, which are internationally recognised and widely used, CIArb said.

Last updated in 2000, the current rules were "deemed ripe for amendment" as they could only be used domestically, under the English Arbitration Act 1996, CIArb said. The new rules are effective as of 1 December 2015.

CIArb's new rules include optional clauses that give parties more scope to tailor the rules to their needs, while enabling CIArb to act as the appointing authority, it said.

The rules include provisions for emergency proceedings, which will apply automatically to arbitration agreements entered into after 1 December 2015 unless parties opt out, and allow CIArb to deal with challenges to arbitrators.

CIArb also aims to set up an administrative court, "similar to the courts of other arbitral institutions", to deal with challenges under the rules.

Provisions have been included to improve efficiency in the arbitration process, including a checklist of matters for consideration at a case management conference, plus an express waiver of the right of appeal.

Arbitrators and emergency arbitrators will continue to be appointed by the president or deputy president of CIArb, with help from the dispute appointment service. Appointments will be made from the presidential panel of arbitrators.

CIArb director general Anthony Abrahams said: "Given the continued global expansion of CIArb, a new set of rules capable of international application in the modern age is to be welcomed. Based on the UNCITRAL rules with significant additions, the rules are applicable for both international and domestic arbitration."

"The addition of emergency arbitrator provisions and the resolution of challenges to appointments is a major step forward. It allows the parties maximum flexibility to develop a consensual approach to dispute resolution," Abrahams said.

A further advantage of using CIArb’s services is that the administrative fees under the rules are fixed, and are not time based or based on the amount in dispute, Abrahams said.

Arbitration is a system of formal dispute resolution by one or more impartial people for a final and binding decision. The arbitral tribunal can be made up of legal or industry experts of the parties' own choosing, using procedures which they can influence.

Arbitration has become the chosen method for the resolution of international disputes and is often seen to be a quicker, practical and more economical method of settlement than going to court.

CIArb also announced that it has signed an agreement with the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCA) on launching a CIArb Asian directorate office at KLRCA’s premises in Bangunan Sulaiman. This will be the first regional centre for CIArb outside London, and will assist both members and branches, the organisation said.

Earlier this week the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) said it has reworded its model arbitration clause to bring it in line with the equivalent clause for contracts with Chinese parties, and to encourage parties to choose their own seat of arbitration.

Editor's note 30/09/2015: the date of the new rules taking effect was changed, the story had previously said it would be 1 January but it will be 1 December. We apologise for the error.