DIAC consults on revised arbitration rules

DIAC consults on revised arbitration rules

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The Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) has issued a draft of its DIAC Arbitration and Conciliation Rules 2016 (DIAC Rules 2016) for comments. The institution becomes the latest in a long line from around the world seeking to bring its administered arbitration rules into step with modern arbitration practice and user expectations.

Earlier this month, the Arbitration Rules of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) entered into force to much acclaim, including for the first time an early dismissal procedure, and the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC) is consulting on its revised rules due to launch on 1 January 2017.

What are the proposed changes?

The current version of the DIAC Arbitration Rules came into effect in May 2007 and the arbitral institution is one of the most prominent in the Middle East.

Although the DIAC Rules 2016 do not represent a complete re-write, as was the case, for example, with the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA)’s 2014 Arbitration Rules, there are a number of proposed amendments and new articles.

Overall, the DIAC Rules 2016 will align the institution more closely with its counterparts in Europe, Asia and the United States.

Some of the proposed changes include:

  • removal of the express ‘in writing’ requirement for agreements to submit to DIAC arbitration (art 2.1), which is in line with the approach taken by, for example, SIAC
  • improved clarity on tribunal jurisdiction. For example, in the proposed new art 6.1, the tribunal’s jurisdiction is unaffected by any allegation that the contract which contains the arbitration agreement is non-existent or null and void, provided the tribunal upholds the validity of the arbitration agreement, which is akin to art 6.9 of the Arbitration Rules of the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
  • more detailed guidance on the tribunal appointment process (arts 8.3 and 8.4) •
  • a change to the permissibility of the sole arbitrator or chairman being of the same nationality as one of the parties (art 10.1)
  • under the DIAC Rules 2016, the tribunal shall notify the parties of the date of the preliminary meeting within 10 rather than 30 days (art 23)
  • a new provision pursuant to which, prior to signing any award, the tribunal shall submit the final draft of the award to the Secretariat, who many provide comments if deemed appropriate (art 38.8), which is akin to, for example, the ICC’s art 33 award scrutiny process
  • additional articles for proposed insertion into the DIAC Rules 2016 after consultation include:
    • a detailed expedited procedure
    • an alternative tribunal appointment process
    • the availability of conciliation proceedings
    • emergency arbitration proceeding

An unofficial comparison document showing the changes between the DIAC Rules 2007 and the DIAC Rules 2016 can be accessed here.

 

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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