CIETAC unveils new arbitration rules for 2015

CIETAC unveils new arbitration rules for 2015

On 19 November 2014, the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) unveiled its revised arbitration rules, which will take effect from 1 January 2015 (the CIETAC Rules 2015).

So what’s changed?

In short, the revisions to CIETAC’s rules are not as comprehensive as those undertaken recently by the LCIA and ICDR, but there are small tweaks throughout the rules and the addition of significant new provisions bring the CIETAC’s rules in line with other key institutional rules that have been recently updated.

The key changes included in the CIETAC Rules 2015 are:

  • the inclusion of emergency arbitrator provisions (CIETAC Rules 2015, art 23.2 and Appendix III)
  • new provisions on multiple contract disputes (CIETAC Rules 2015, art 14)
  • new joinder provisions (CIETAC Rules 2015, art 18)
  • enhanced consolidation provisions (CIETAC Rules 2015, art 19)
  • organisational changes (CIETAC Rules 2015, arts 1 and 2)
  • special provisions for HK arbitration (CIETAC Rules 2015, arts 73-80)

Will the CIETAC Rules 2015 apply to my dispute?

The CIETAC Rules 2015 are effective from 1 January 2015. If your CIETAC arbitration is pending before that date, the CIETAC arbitration rules effective at the time of ‘acceptance’ (ie acceptance of a case by CIETAC) shall apply to your dispute (CIETAC Rules 2015, art 84).

Accordingly, if you are already arbitrating under the CIETAC Rules 2012, you needn’t worry about the provisions of the revised rules, unless the parties agree that they should apply (and such agreement should be raised with the tribunal as a matter of good practice).

If your arbitration agreement specifies that the CIETAC Rules 2012 will apply to any future arbitration between the parties, and such a case is accepted by CIETAC after 1 January 2015, arguably party choice should prevail and the 2012 rules will govern your dispute, although this is not expressly dealt with in the CIETAC Rules 2015. It may be worth clarifying this point with CIETAC when submitting the request for arbitration.

Lexis®PSL Arbitration subscribers should note that more detailed analysis of the new rules will be published on LexisPSL in due course.

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About the author:

Barry specialises in international arbitration and commercial litigation. He trained and practised at Jones Day before joining Pinsent Masons. At LexisNexis, Barry is Head of Arbitration and Head of the Lexis®PSL Dispute Resolution Group.

In practice, Barry’s work included commercial, aviation and technology arbitrations pursuant to international arbitral rules, involving UK and international clients. He also has a background in general commercial, civil fraud and IT litigation, including experience before the High Court. While in private practice, Barry worked with a broad range of clients from the private and public sectors.

At LexisNexis, when not focused on the strategic development and operational requirements of the Dispute Resolution Group, Barry’s content work focuses on the law and practice of international commercial arbitration and investment treaty arbitration. In addition to his work for Lexis®PSL, Barry contributes to the LexisNexis Dispute Resolution Blog and New Law Journal on litigation and arbitration matters