What Rules Govern The Process Of International Arbitration?

On behalf of Wolf Popper LLP

We've been looking in recent posts at the issue of arbitration, specifically what laws govern the process. As we noted previously, domestic arbitration is governed by both state and federal law, while international arbitration is a bit more complex. The New York Convention ensures uniformity of enforcement of arbitration decisions for member countries. What, though, about the procedural rules of international arbitration?

There is no single set of rules that govern the process of international arbitration. Rather, there are various entities that have established their own rules and which may appoint arbitrators or provide a list from which parties may select an arbitrator. In addition, parties may negotiate changes to these rules in some cases to address certain concerns they may have about the process in the context of their arbitration.  

One prominent organization that handles international arbitration is the International Chamber of Commerce Court of Arbitration, which is widely considered the leading institution handling commercial arbitration. Part of the reason for this is that the institution has less of a national character than other arbitration institutions. The rules used by the ICC have been criticized as burdensome and potentially costly, but it nevertheless remains one of the leading organizations in the field.

Wolf Popper's attorneys have experience in litigation, arbitration, and discovery in or involving foreign jurisdictions. This includes comprehensive experience involving foreign law matters; the litigation of claims governed by the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG); and representing clients before arbitration panels organized under the ICC, the ad-hoc United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) proceedings, and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Navigating the procedural rules of international arbitration is not necessarily and easy matter, particularly when parties choose to use rules of their own choosing. Not only is it important to work with experienced legal counsel in navigating these rules and presenting the best possible case, but it is also important to select a qualified, neutral arbitrator to ensure such cases are handled properly and fairly.