By Charles Rae

In a revised practice note, the ICC Court of Arbitration has provided guidance on the procedure for determining applications for summary dismissal of unmeritorious claims and defences in arbitrations conducted under the ICC Rules. The revisions are important because the ICC Rules do not otherwise contain a process for dismissing claims or defences on a summary basis. The guidance is the latest signal from institutions that tribunals should consider summary procedures as a means of ensuring that disputes are resolved in an efficient and cost effective manner.

Revised Practice Note: Summary

The practice note seeks to promote efficiency in the way in which tribunals and parties deal with applications, by:

  • Requiring parties to make the application as promptly as possible after the filing of the relevant claims or defences
  • Confirming that the tribunal considers the need to ensure time and cost efficiency in determining whether or not to allow an application to proceed
  • Directing tribunals to promptly adopt procedural measures to deal with the application after consulting with the parties
  • Encouraging tribunals to adopt a streamlined process by allowing the presentation of evidence beyond the defendant’s response to the application only in exceptional circumstances, and considering whether any hearing (if required) can be conducted by video conference or telephone
  • Directing tribunals to decide the application as promptly as possible and provide concise reasons for its decision in either an award or order
  • Providing a one-week deadline for the ICC Court to scrutinise any award or order a tribunal makes