I. The 2021 ICDR Arbitration Rules
Effective March 1, 2021, the ICDR has updated its International Dispute Resolution Procedures. The update is the culmination of a yearlong effort by an ICDR drafting committee to recognize changing dynamics due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to promote greater efficiency and innovation. Summarized below are some of the most noteworthy changes to the ICDR Rules.
- Definition of “international”: The ICDR now defines what “international” is for purposes of deciding whether a case should be administered by the American Arbitration Association (AAA) or the ICDR. The ICDR has incorporated the United National Commission on International Trade Law’s (UNCITRAL) definition of what makes a dispute “international.” Under the ICDR Rules, an arbitration may be deemed international and administered by the ICDR if:
- The parties to an arbitration agreement have their places of business in different countries;
- The place where a substantial part of the obligations of the parties’ commercial relationship to be performed is situated outside the country of any party;
- The place with which the subject-matter of the dispute is most closely connected is situated outside the country of any party;
- The place of arbitration is situated outside of the country of any party; or
- One party with more than one place of business (including a parent and/or subsidiary) is situated outside of the country of any party.
(See Introduction to ICDR Rules, p. 6).
- Tribunal secretary: The ICDR Rules now expressly allow for the appointment of a tribunal secretary. (Article 17).
- Expedited procedures: The 2021 Rules change the monetary threshold for defaulting to the expedited procedures. Under the 2014 Rules, the expedited procedures applied when “no disclosed claim or counterclaim exceed[ed] USD $250,000 exclusive of interest and the costs of arbitration.” The updated 2021 Rules raise this figure to $500,000. (Article 1(4)).