New ICC Arbitration Rules 2021
A new set of arbitration rules will come into force from 1st January 2021. The new rules are expected to revamp the procedural rules for conducting arbitration as laid down in the Arbitration Rules 2017 (old rules).
The most notable changes brought about by the ICC Rules 2021 (new rules) are;
Joinder of parties
Article 7 has been added to the new rules which permit new parties for arbitration to be added even after the arbitral tribunal is constituted. This addition can, however, be made only with consent from the arbitral tribunal. The new party is required to agree to the terms of reference and the constitution of the tribunal. A prior assessment of the other party is required to be carried out to ensure that there is no possibility of a conflict of interest in terms of the time at which such request has been made.
Consolidation of proceedings
Although the old rules include provisions for consolidating arbitration proceedings, the new rules expand the scope of the same. The new regulations recognize situations where claims arise out of agreements that mirror each other. Contrarily if claims are not made under the same or similar arbitration agreement, then an assessment of the contractual and legal relationship between the two parties is required to be carried out.
Parties are required to immediately inform the tribunal about any non-party funding received from a third party who has a vested interest in the matter. This disclosure ensures impartiality and rules out the conflict of interest.
Appointment of arbitrators
ICC is empowered to appoint arbitrators as per Article 12(9) of the new rules, in case of exceptional circumstances, notwithstanding the agreement between parties for the constitution of an arbitral tribunal. This is in order to uphold fairness and equal treatment of the parties to an arbitration.
Changes in party representative
Article 17 of the new rules mandate that a party desirous of changing their representatives must inform the arbitral tribunal about their intention to do so, allowing the tribunal to assess the implications of such a change and further taking measures to restrict such change in case of conflict of interest.
Use of electronic means
Arbitration hearings can be conducted through videoconferencing under Article 26(1) of the new rules. This decision shall be subject to the assent of the parties to the arbitration depending on the facts and circumstances of the case.
A new provision for filing an application for an additional award has been introduced under Article 36 of the new rules, where the matters that were omitted by the arbitral tribunal can be included therein. The timeline and procedure have also been laid down with respect to the omitted subject matter.
Addition of Article 43
Article 43 lays down provisions regarding the adjudication of claims arising out of the administration of arbitral proceedings. These claims shall be settled by the Paris Judicial Tribunal and governed by French law.