Datebook Handy? New ICC Form Forces Arbitrators to Certify their Availability Before Proceedings Begin (Web)

The International Chamber of Commerce Court of Arbitration, based in Paris, announced last week that as of Aug. 17, it will require arbitrators to disclose their current immediate business plans before tribunal proceedings begin.

Even though the form contemplates an existing tribunal assignment, arbitrators must fill out a new form describing their availability in detail, including the number of cases they are involved in for the next 12-to-18 months.

The ICC “is of the view that greater transparency is called for in relation to arbitrator availabilty,” according to an ICC news release.

The release says that the ICC expects that its new “ Statement of Acceptance, Availability and Independence” will “reduce the risk of unreasonable delays in the conduct of ICC arbitrations.”

The form asks the arbitrator to “confirm that he or she expects to be able to make available the time and effort necessary for prompt and efficient conduct of the case.”

The ICC indicates that some arbitrators need help in sorting out their schedule. “The vast majority of arbitrators do not need to be reminded of the need to be realistic when assessing the time they can give to a case,” the news release says, adding, “Regrettably, however, some do and the ICC Court anticipates that the fact that the point has been highlighted in the new [ICC Statement] will reduce the risk of unreasonable delays in the conduct of ICC arbitrations.”

Under the form’s availability section, the arbitrator must confirm “that [he or she] can devote the time necessary to conduct [the] arbitration diligently, efficiently and in accordance with the time limits in the Rules.”

The form also asks the arbitrator to list “current professional engagements.” It compels prospective ICC arbitrators to give specifics about their caseloads to meet the new requirements–not “[g]eneral descriptions, such as ‘many’ or ‘several’ [matters].”

–Erika Myrill, CPR Intern