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This document is part of the ICC Dispute Resolution Library.
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Publisher: Image of Publisher which is The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC DRL)
Type: Books
Publication Date: 24 October 2022
Language: English
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Early determinations to reduce time and cost: the rise of midstream case management conferences


Perhaps the most radical initiative of any arbitration institution to date to reduce the time and cost of arbitration has been ICC's Expedited Procedure, introduced with the 2017 ICC Rules of Arbitration. The procedure provides that, so long as the parties agreed to resolve their dispute under the ICC Rules, claims of less than US$3 million shall be decided by a sole arbitrator (even if the parties' arbitration agreement specifies three) and subjected to a truncated procedure with a final award within six months of commencement. Initially regarded as controversial and even an infringement of party autonomy, use of the Expedited Procedure has been an unquestionable success. While only fifteen disputes were decided under the Expedited Procedure in 2017, the number rose rapidly, to 157 in 2021. As of December 2021, there had been a total of 400 disputes decided by under the Expedited Procedures.

This success of ICC's Expedited Rules demonstrates the appetite for procedures that conform to the needs of the parties' dispute. Yet fast-tracking an entire case will often not be a realistic means of saving time and cost when claims are large and complex, or when one of the parties will resist expedition. In these instances, the use of preliminary applications, aimed at early determinations on critical issues, have much to offer as a means of rendering the proceedings more efficient and suited to the parties' dispute.

In a 2008 article, Roland Schroeder and I—both in-house litigators at GE at the time—argued that for international arbitration, ‘addressing the need for early resolution may be the lowest of the low-hanging fruit. Yet it is a high priority for businesses, the true customers of international arbitration'. This was a consequence of continuous interaction with our business collea

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