Legal Translation Services
and New ICC Arbitration Rules

Legal Interpreting Services for Arbitration

We’ve blogged about document translation services in the context of mediation and arbitration in Brazil. The new International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Rules of Mediation were unveiled last week and will come into force on January 1, 2014. The new rules will replace the ICC ADR Rules, which have governed dispute resolution since 2001. The new rules have been adapted to help parties resolve increasingly complex cross-border disputes quickly and reliably. Notable changes in the new rules include the setting of mediation as the default technique, as well as increased support from the ICC International Centre for ADR, the body administering the new Rules.

In an interview following the announcement, Andrea Carlevaris, Director of ICC Dispute Resolution Services and Secretary General of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, said: “The new ICC Mediation Rules strike a good balance between two essential elements of a modern and efficient dispute resolution tool: clarity of the procedural framework and flexibility. In-house counsel and other representatives of businesses played an important role in the drafting process and made sure that the result responds to the needs of users.”

The new rules are currently available in eight foreign language translations, with additional translations set to arrive. This focus on foreign languages places special emphasis on the increasing role that international arbitration plays in the global marketplace.

“For me, the new ICC Mediation Rules and accompanying ICC Mediation Guidance Notes have two particularly important features,” said Chris Newmark, Vice-Chair and incoming Chair of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR. “First, the Rules themselves offer simplicity by focusing on mediation rather than ADR more generally. Second, the Guidance Notes give practical guidance, enabling users and their advisers to see how ICC mediation proceedings can be organized and conducted so as to maximize the chances of a successful resolution of the parties’ dispute.”

With the original ICC ADR Rules being drafted nearly 13 years ago, they were specifically drafted to fit all amicable dispute resolution techniques, including mediation and conciliation. However, today more than 90 percent of the ICC’s cases revert to mediation. Thus, the new rules set mediation as the default approach to reflect this reality, while still allowing parties to use other dispute resolution techniques if they prefer. Hence, the new name.

Under the new ICC Mediation Rules, the role of the ICC International Centre for ADR will be strengthened in a number of ways. It will help disputing parties to consider using mediation as an efficient way to settle their disputes, and support them in overcoming procedural hurdles before they reach the table. This includes setting the language and place of the mediation meeting, even without previous agreement.

Mediation is usually considerably faster and cheaper than other dispute resolution procedures, taking just one or two meetings with a trained mediator for parties to overcome the stalemates often encountered in direct negotiations. It also allows parties to decide the exact terms of their settlement, to help reach an outcome that respects their financial, legal, reputational and future-business interests.

“The new ICC Rules of Mediation are particularly welcome because they’re built for the parties involved. When drafting them we kept in mind that the process needed to be adapted to the needs of today’s businesses worldwide,” noted Hannah Tuempel, Senior Counsel and Manager of the ICC International Centre for ADR. “The ICC Rules are useful for all parties involved in commercial disputes, whether ICC members or not; and in all fields, from construction, to trade, and energy to pharmaceuticals.”

Since 2001, the ICC International Centre for ADR has mediated cases worldwide involving more than 70 nationalities. Over 75% of the cases transferred to the mediator concluded with a settlement.

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