Prague Rules on efficiency in arbitration now launched

The new Rules on the Efficient Conduct of Proceedings in International Arbitration (Prague Rules) launched last month in the Czech Republic and aim to provide a more efficient framework for arbitral procedure which can be used to streamline a dispute, reducing delay and costs. Their approach is closer to civil law than common law traditions, with the tribunal pro-actively managing the dispute from the start.

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The Proliferation of “Soft Laws” in International Arbitration: Time to Draw the Line?

Paula Hodges QC, Partner and Head of the Global Arbitration Practice at Herbert Smith Freehills has published an article on the impact of the proliferation of rules, guidelines, codes and protocols relating to international arbitration in recent years. The article considers how this so-called “soft law” finds its way into the arbitration process, the status it has attained and the impact it has.  It also questions whether the regulation of counsel conduct in arbitration by way of rules and guidance is a step too far. To read the full article please click here.

This article was first published in the Austrian Yearbook on International Arbitration 2015.

Paula Hodges QC
Paula Hodges QC
Partner, head of global arbitration practice
+44 20 7466 2027

The ICDR amends its Mediation and Arbitration Rules: tackling some familiar issues and providing some novel solutions

The International Centre for Dispute Resolution (the ICDR), the international division of the American Arbitration Association has released a new version of its Mediation Rules and its Arbitration Rules (the Rules), effective 1 May 2014.

Many of the changes concern issues which have been the focus of many of the recent institutional rule changes – reducing the time and costs involved in resolving a dispute pursuant to the Rules, dealing with multi-party and multi-contract issues, and providing for emergency measures of protection before constitution of the tribunal. However, the revised Rules also contain some novel aspects. In particular:

  • The adoption of the “international” approach to document production in arbitration into the Rules themselves and confirmation that depositions, interrogatories and other US “discovery” procedures are “generally not appropriate” in an ICDR arbitration (Article 21);
  • Provision for joinder and the appointment of a “consolidation arbitrator” to determine whether multiple arbitrations should be consolidated;
  • An express description of the ICDR list procedure at Article 12(6) for the appointment of arbitrators (barring party agreement to an alternative method); and
  • Express inclusion of a default position on the question of privilege in international arbitration, adopting a highest standard of protection test (Article 22).

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