The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has long been the world’s preeminent organization in the field of international commercial dispute resolution. ICC established its International Court of Arbitration® in 1923, only four years after the world business organization itself was created, and took the lead in securing the worldwide acceptance of arbitration as the most effective way of resolving international commercial disputes.
ICC has developed a wide range of dispute resolution services to provide international business with alternatives to court litigation, including:
Arbitration is the most commonly used ICC dispute resolution service. Arbitration offers a binding dispute resolution procedure, with flexibility in language, location and applicable law. Parties agree upon the specific procedures for the arbitration tribunal, and can either select arbitrators or have ICC appoint experienced and independent arbitrators from around the world. Arbitration offers final, binding decisions in less time and with less expense than ordinary judicial proceedings. Over 130 countries have signed and ratified the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, thereby agreeing to recognize and enforce foreign arbitral awards.
During the course of many contracts, especially those made for long-term transactions, problems can arise which require an urgent response. It is frequently not possible to obtain in the time required a final decision from an arbitral tribunal or from a court. If parties have agreed in writing, they can apply to a pre-arbitral referee for urgent provisional measures relating to a dispute.
ICC’s Rules for a Pre-Arbitral Referee Procedure provide for rapid recourse to a referee, who is empowered to order measures such as the preservation or recording of evidence. The order provides a temporary resolution of the dispute and may lay the foundations for its final settlement either by agreement or otherwise. The referee can either be agreed upon by the parties or appointed by the Chairman of the International Court of Arbitration®. The measures ordered by the referee are binding until decided otherwise by a court or Arbitral Tribunal.
Throughout more than eighty years of administering international arbitrations, ICC has acquired exceptional experience in appointing arbitrators. In addition, ICC is supported by a worldwide network of national committees able to identify arbitrators with appropriate qualifications of many different nationalities and from various spheres of activity.
Parties in UNCITRAL or other ad hoc proceedings can authorize ICC to appoint an independent arbitrator. They can also give the International Court of Arbitration® other powers, including the power to decide upon challenges of arbitrators, whether or not appointed by ICC.
ICC has developed an array of non-binding amicable dispute resolution techniques under the heading ICC ADR. Requiring the mutual goodwill and consent of the parties, these techniques provide a flexible, rapid and relatively inexpensive way to settle business disputes.
The final decision reached by these techniques is not binding on parties unless otherwise agreed. The neutral can be agreed upon by the parties or appointed by ICC according to specific requirements or qualifications specified by the parties.
Over the past several decades, dispute boards (DBs) have become a standard method of dispute resolution for contractual disputes concerning mid- to long-term projects, such as construction projects. Determinations made by DBs are not enforceable at law as such, although they may become contractually binding on the parties.
ICC offers the international business community a set of documents providing a comprehensive and flexible framework for establishing and operating DBs in a wide range of contracts in different industries. These documents comprise the ICC Dispute Board Rules, the Model Dispute Board Member Agreement and the Standard ICC Dispute Board Clauses.
- ICC Dispute Board Rules with Standard ICC Dispute Board Clauses and Model Dispute Board Member Agreement
Created in 1976, the ICC International Centre for Expertise has built up unique access to experts in every conceivable subject relevant to business operations. Parties can request that the Centre propose an expert, appoint an expert or administer the expertise proceedings. Expertise provided can be used to settle disputes, resolve differences of opinion or clarify facts. If agreed upon by the parties, the findings can be binding. ICC expertise can also be used as part of litigation or arbitration proceedings.
ICC’s Rules for Expertise, to which parties may refer in their contracts or at a later stage in their relationship, were updated in 2003 to meet evolving business needs and expertise.
First approved in October 1997, ICC’s DOCDEX rules were a response to a call from the international banking community for a rapid, cost-effective means of resolving disputes that arise under letters of credit.
DOCDEX provides dispute settlement through document-based expert decisions made by three experts, verified by the technical advisor of the ICC Banking Commission and issued by the International Centre for Expertise. The process normally takes 30-60 days, rather than the years that can be involved in court proceedings. DOCDEX decisions are not binding unless the parties have agreed otherwise.