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Litigation and things

2012 ICC Rules of Arbitration

Yes, the ICC Rules of Arbitration have been updated and we have the 2012 now to hand. The ICC Rules of Arbitration are the most widely-used institutional arbitral rules in the world, yes really, especially in relation to international construction and energy disputes. London is also gaining more market share than any other centre in arbitration. The new version of the Rules came into force on 1 January 2012. The 2012 Rules apply to all ICC arbitrations that commenced on or after that date, unless the parties have agreed that the previous version of the Rules will apply.

The previous version of the Rules was published 14 years ago in 1998. To a large extent the new Rules simply codify the solutions and approaches that the ICC Secretariat has followed since the last revision of the Rules. Most of the changes are aimed at increasing the efficiency of the arbitration process.
The 2012 Rules explicitly require both the arbitrators and the parties to “make every effort to conduct the arbitration in an expeditious and cost-effective manner”. The changes will force participants to define more aspects of their claims and outline the merits of the dispute earlier on in the process.
The Rules also contain new penalties for behaving in a way that undermines the process’s efficiency. The new Rules permit the tribunal, when making allocating costs, to take into account “the extent to which each party has conducted the arbitration in an expeditious and cost-effective manner”.

Entirely new provisions relate to the emergency arbitrators, case management, and multi-party arbitrations apply, so get a copy!

Meltdown in the civil courts?

The civil and family court system is facing the prospect of chaos as the government prepares to cut public counter services and problems persist at the Salford civil claims centre, lawyers have warned.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) wrote to civil and family court users earlier this year to say that it was to replace “face-to-face services” with online, telephone, post and drop-box facilities and to cut counter hours by two-thirds to 11am–1pm.

One can easily see opening court counters for just two hours a day, coupled with cuts to legal aid,(such that it is) would have a material impact on access to justice’. An expected surge in the number of litigants in person, with inadequate access to computers makes this sound like the horrors of dealing with HMR&C.

The Law Society’s civil justice committee said that cutting counter hours would be in breach of the Court Charter 1994, which states that 10am-4pm is the ‘national minimum standard’. Reductions in face-to-face services would also cause ‘delay, confusion and frustration for users and court staff’, the committee said.

Simon Tolson
Chairman of TeCSA
11 May 2012

Annual Dinner 2012

Members should note that this year’s Annual Dinner will take place following the Annual General Meeting at One Whitehall Place on Thursday 15 November 2012. Details of how to book your places etc will follow closer to the event.

Champagne Summer Party 2012

This year’s TeCSA Summer Party is being held on Norton Rose’s fabulous roof terrace overlooking the Thames on Wednesday 11 July 2012. There will be Champagne, live music and other entertainment on tap while you enjoy the evening networking and mingling with other members and contacts. If members want further information about how to purchase tickets they should contact Dominic Helps on Dominic.Helps@corbett.co.uk.

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