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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
Table of content

With all the attention to costs and time efficiency, why hasn’t arbitration become more time and cost efficient?

1. Introduction


There is a strange feeling to write a piece on efficiency and cost problems in international arbitration in a book dedicated to Alexis Mourre, who is perhaps one of today's most important promoters of measures to enhance costs and time efficiency in arbitration. Most of the best mechanisms and techniques to improve cost and time efficiency in ICC arbitration have been directly envisioned and implemented by Alexis. Moreover, many other leading arbitration institutions have mirrored the mechanisms and techniques that Alexis pushed for in ICC.

During Alexis' presidency of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, ICC arbitration has experienced its most significant expansion. The recently published 2021 International Arbitration Survey reveals that ICC continues to be the favourite arbitral institution in the world. I am sure that this is in no small measure due to Alexis' fantastic work as its President and its commitment to solving what most arbitration users recurrently identify as its two most negative aspects: cost and time efficiency.

In this sense, the name of this essay is—in good faith—a little misleading. Today, arbitration practitioners have at their disposal a broad set of tools that allows them to reduce time and costs, which is an achievement that must be celebrated. However, there are still several factors that hold continue to impact cost and time efficiency negatively.

My aim in this essay is to identify and describe why arbitration became less cost and time efficient, what has been done to remedy that, what are the problems that continue to exist, and how we can address them. Accordingly, in the first section of this article, I will explain how arbitration transformed from an inexpensive and quick proceeding to a pricier and lengthier one. Then, in the second section, I will explore the reasons why I believe that all the attention given to cost and efficiency has, in general terms, worked; in many

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