The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) released recently a new checklist to guide arbitrators writing awards.
Here is the press release:
New aid for drafting awards in ICC cases
As part of its ongoing drive to improve efficiency, the ICC International Court of Arbitration has issued a checklist for drafting ICC arbitral awards. The two-page document may be a helpful memory jog for ICCarbitrators when preparing their awards for submission to the Court.
The checklist reminds arbitrators of key information that must normally be included in an ICC award. These include the correct and full identification of all players in the arbitration, details about the relevant arbitration agreement, the complete history of the proceedings, any decisions on jurisdiction, the disposal of the parties’ claims and, in final awards, the costs of the arbitration. Such information is necessary, not only to resolve the dispute, but also to demonstrate the integrity of the proceedings in the event of a subsequent attempt to set aside the award.
The checklist also draws attention to matters of presentation, stressing the importance of clarity and consistency. The readability of an award will be greatly enhanced if it is carefully structured, includes a table of contents and numbered pages and paragraphs, and provides translations of any texts quoted in foreign languages.
The checklist is for guidance only. It does not seek to be exhaustive, nor is it mandatory or otherwise binding upon arbitrators.
Simon Greenberg, Deputy Secretary General of the Court, described the checklist as ‘a time-saving tool to help avoid many of the formal corrections requested by the Court when scrutinizing awards under Article 27 of the ICC Rules’. Mr Greenberg added: ‘It will help to make sure that busy arbitrators do not overlook details that can improve the effectiveness of their awards and thereby contribute to the quality of ICC awards and the efficiency of the scrutiny process.’
The scrutiny of draft awards is one of the most appreciated added values of arbitration proceedings administered by the ICC Court. In 2009, only 33 of the 415 draft awards approved by the Court were accepted without comment. In the remaining 382, the arbitral tribunal was invited to look again at certain aspects of its award. It is hoped that the new checklist will render much post-scrutiny adjustment on minor formal matters unnecessary.
The checklist is intended solely for ICC arbitrations and will be distributed systematically to arbitrators when the case file is transmitted to them, as well as to all arbitrators in ongoing proceedings that have already passed that stage. It will also be published in the ICC International Court of Arbitration Bulletinand the ICC Dispute Resolution Library.