SCC Draft Rules 2017 in focus

SCC released for public consultation drafts of the 2017 Arbitration Rules and 2017 Rules for Expedited Arbitrations. The drafts are the result of 18 months of deliberations by the SCC Rules Revision Committee, composed of international and local practitioners, academics, SCC Board and Secretariat members, from nine different jurisdictions.

While maintaining continuity of what could be described as the essence of an SCC arbitration, the draft introduces a number of noteworthy revisions and innovations, including the following.

• Summary procedure. The drafts propose that tribunals may, at the request of a party, decide one or more issues of fact or law by way of summary procedure. The intention has been to provide tribunals with a case management tool, by permitting them to decide in a summary fashion allegations deemed unsustainable.

• Administrative secretary. The drafts suggest giving tribunals the possibility to appoint administrative secretaries upon party approval, and they also regulate the removal of an administrative secretary, if justifiable doubts exist as to the secretary’s independence or impartiality.

• Amicus curiae for investor-state arbitrations. A special annex of the draft rules applicable only in investor-state arbitration provides that third persons and non-disputing treaty parties may apply to the tribunal to make a submission. It should be noted that the suggested provisions do not change the SCC’s nor the tribunal’s duty of confidentiality.

• Multi-parties and multi-contracts arbitration. The draft rules include procedures to join additional parties and to deal with claims arising out of multiple contracts in a single proceeding.

• Frontloading the case. The draft rules propose that the submission of the request for arbitration and the answer also constitutes the submission of the statement of claim and the statement of defence, respectively. This change is proposed to apply only to the Rules for Expedited Arbitrations.

The full text of the draft 2017 Arbitration Rules is available here.

The full text of the draft 2017 Rules for Expedited Arbitrations is available here.

SCC invites users and practitioners to review the draft rules, and welcomes comments to by 23 May 2016.

The draft rules and comments received will be discussed at a hearing on 9 June 2016 in Stockholm. Find out more and register for the hearing here.

In addition, the draft rules will be presented at events in Hong Kong Shanghai and Beijing between 17 and 19 May. Find out more about the SCC Rules China Road trip here.

The new SCC Rules are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2017.