Arbitration is an increasingly popular way to resolve disputes, especially in international business transactions. Arbitration is a party-driven, completely neutral and confidential process that has many advantages over litigation (i.e. taking a case through the courts). Due to its neutrality, arbitration removes the possibility of one party facing a bias in another party’s national court. Due to its confidentiality, taking a case to arbitration does not result in the media attention that a court case can.
Q What are the advantages of international arbitration?
International arbitration offers many advantages over litigation. In particular, arbitration is a neutral process, meaning that neither party will have the case heard in their home jurisdiction’s courts and the potential bias that can occur. In addition, arbitration also offers:
Enforceability: The arbitrator will provide a clear solution to the dispute. There are international treaties in effect that provide for the enforcement of arbitral awards in over 130 countries. In other words, regardless of where the arbitration decision is rendered, it can be enforced by the judicial system in over 130 countries.
Speed: Arbitrations usually take less time than a court case to reach a decision. Due to the congestion of most court systems, it can take some time for a case to be heard, whereas arbitrations can be heard when it is mutually convenient for the parties.
Confidentiality: Arbitrations are private proceedings. Decisions rendered by arbitrators are not public documents.
Cost-effectiveness: Because arbitrations are usually quicker than litigation, this keeps lawyers’ costs down. Parties generally pay less for arbitration than if they proceed through their national courts.
Flexibility: You decide the dispute settlement parameters. You get to choose where the dispute will be heard, the number of arbitrators, the language of proceedings and so forth. Arbitration is a party-driven process that can be tailored to suit your needs.
Q Why should I choose to use the ICC International Court of Arbitration to hear my case?
The ICC International Court of Arbitration is one of the oldest and most respected venues for international arbitration. It is known and operates worldwide. The reputable nature of the ICC adds to the strength of the arbitration award rendered. ICC arbitration is supervised by the ICC Court and is administered by the ICC Secretariat. No other arbitration institution can match the ICC’s global reach. The ICC Secretariat has a staff of more than 50 with over 20 different nationalities, speaking all of the world’s main languages. The ICC monitors your case to ensure that all deadlines are met and helps to ensure that any obstacles are overcome. This oversight results in tight control over both costs and timing. The Court ensures that all arbitrators are independent and available to hear the case. The Court can even assist in finding appropriate arbitrators and can call upon its national committees in over 80 countries to find the right person. As an example, the Canadian National Committee boasts over 50 of the world’s top arbitrators, with expertise in a wide range of fields. Plus, the ICC Court reviews each award rendered and makes every effort to ensure that the award is enforceable.
Q Who can use ICC arbitration?
Any company can use ICC arbitration. You do not need to be a member of the ICC in order to access the ICC International Court of Arbitration.
Q How do I make reference to ICC arbitration in my contracts?
The parties to a dispute can mutually choose to go to arbitration at any time. However, it is recommended that the parties specify this preference for arbitration when negotiating the terms of the contract. The ICC recommends the following clause be inserted into the contract, subject to adjustment to fit national law and the special needs of the deal:
“All disputes arising out of or in connection with the present contract shall be finally settled under the Rules of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce by one or more arbitrators appointed in Accordance with the said Rules. Failure to include an ICC arbitration clause in the original contract does not preclude choosing ICC arbitration once a dispute arises. But inclusion of the clause in the contract is advisable because it provides a sure path to follow in case of dispute.”
Click here for more information on ICC arbitration clauses.