Traditionally, arbitration has been perceived as a cheaper and faster alternative to court proceedings. However, practitioners and academics worldwide have concluded that delays and increased costs are contemporary issues, which need to be addressed in order to streamline the arbitration process. Over the past decade, in response to calls for faster and more cost-effective dispute resolution for smaller cases, many arbitral institutions have introduced expedited and cost-controlled arbitration rules. Though the intake was slow at the beginning, recent surveys show a “steady increase in the desire by parties” to use such rules. According to the 2015 QMUL – White & Case survey on ‘Improvements and Innovations in International Arbitration’, 92 percent of respondents favoured the inclusion of a simplified procedure for claims under a certain value in the arbitration rules.

A comparison of the expedited rules introduced by various arbitral institutions shows that while they contain similar provisions, they have adopted different models as to the way these rules come into play. These differences are illustrated through the modus operandi and the status of the expedited rules.

Expedited procedure – selected provisions

Apart from cost and time considerations, delays in arbitral proceedings have a bearing on the parties’ rights and obligations, pending the outcome of the case. Some of the major arbitral institutions have expedited rules that provide much shorter time limits, which can prove useful in addressing the issues of delays and uncertainty.

Oct-Dec 2017 issue