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Copyright © International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). All rights reserved.
( Source of the document: ICC Digital Library )
The International Court of Arbitration may accept jurisdiction over business disputes not of an international business nature, if it has jurisdiction by reason of an arbitration agreement.
The work of the International Court of Arbitration is of a confidential character which must be respected by everyone who participates in that work in whatever capacity.
The sessions of the International Court of Arbitration, whether plenary or those of a Committee of the Court, are open only to its members and to the Secretariat.
However, in exceptional circumstances and, if need be, after obtaining the opinion of members of the Court, the Chairman of the International Court of Arbitration may invite honorary members of the Court and authorize observers to attend. Such persons must respect the confidential character of the work of the Court.
The documents submitted to the Court or drawn up by it in the course of the proceedings it conducts are communicated only to the members of the Court and to the Secretariat.
The Chairman or the Secretary General of the Court may nevertheless authorize researchers undertaking work of a scientific nature on international trade law to acquaint themselves with certain documents of general interest, with the exception of memoranda, notes, statements and documents remitted by the parties within the framework of arbitration proceedings.
Such authorization shall not be given unless the beneficiary has undertaken to respect the confidential character of the documents made available and to refrain from any publication in their respect without having previously submitted the text for approval to the Secretary General of the Court.
Owing to the special responsibilities laid upon them by the ICC Rules of Arbitration, the Chairman, the Vice-Chairmen and the Secretariat of the International Court of
Arbitration may not personally act as arbitrators or as counsel in cases submitted to ICC arbitration.
The members of the International Court of Arbitration may not be directly appointed as co-arbitrators, sole arbitrator or Chairman of an arbitral tribunal by the International Court of Arbitration. They may however be proposed for such duties by one or more of the parties, subject to confirmation by the Court.
When the Chairman, a Vice-Chairman or a member of the Court is involved, in any capacity whatsoever, in proceedings pending before the Court, he must inform the Secretary General of the Court as soon as he becomes aware of such involvement.
He must refrain from participating in the discussions or in the decisions of the Court concerning the proceedings and he must be absent from the courtroom whenever the matter is considered.
He will not receive documentation or information submitted to the Court during the proceedings.
By virtue of their capacity, the members of the International Court of Arbitration are independent of the ICC National Committees which proposed them for nomination by the ICC Council.
Furthermore, they must regard as confidential, vis-a-vis the said National Committees, any information concerning individual disputes with which they have become acquainted in their capacity as members of the Court except when they have been requested, by the Chairman of the Court or by its Secretary General, to communicate that information to their respective National Committees.
In accordance with the provisions of Article 1(4) of the ICC Rules of Arbitration, the International Court of Arbitration hereby establishes a Committee of the Court composed as follows, and with the following powers.
The Committee consists of a Chairman and two members. The Chairman of the International Court of Arbitration acts as the Chairman of the Committee. He may nevertheless designate a Vice-Chairman of the Court to replace him during a session of the Committee.
The other two members of the Committee are appointed by the Court from among the Vice-Chairmen or the other members of the Court. At each meeting of the Court it appoints the members who are to attend the meeting of the Committee to be held before the next plenary session of the Court.
The Committee meets when convened by its Chairman, in principle twice a month.
a) The Committee is empowered to take any decision within the jurisdiction of the Court, with the exception of decisions concerning challenges of arbitrators (Arts. 2(8) and 2(9) of the ICC Rules of Arbitration), allegations that an arbitrator is not fulfilling his functions (Art. 2(11) of the ICC Rules of Arbitration) and approval of draft awards other than awards made with the consent of the parties.
b) The decisions of the Committee are taken unanimously.
c) When the Committee cannot reach a decision or deems it preferable to abstain, it transfers the case to the next plenary session of the Court, making any suggestions it deems appropriate.
d) The Committee's proceedings are brought to the notice of the Court at its next plenary session.
Where there is no prima facie arbitration agreement between the parties or where there is an agreement but it does not specify the ICC, the Secretariat draws the attention of the Claimant to the provisions laid down in Article 7 of the Rules of Arbitration. The Claimant is entitled to require the decision to be taken by the International Court of Arbitration.
This decision is of an administrative nature. If the Court decides that the arbitration solicited by the Claimant cannot proceed, the parties retain the right to ask the competent jurisdiction whether or not they are bound by an arbitration agreement in the light of the law applicable.
If the Court considers prima facie that the proceedings may take place, the arbitrator appointed has the duty to decide as to his own jurisdiction and, where such jurisdiction exists, as to the merits of the dispute.
When a party presents a Request for Arbitration in connection with a legal relationship already submitted to arbitration proceedings by the same parties and pending before the International Court of Arbitration, the Court may decide to include that claim in the existing proceedings, subject to the provisions of Article 16 of the ICC Rules of Arbitration.
When the International Court of Arbitration has set separate advances on costs for a specific case in accordance with Article 9(1 ) (subpar. 2) of the ICC Rules of Arbitration, the Secretariat requests each of the parties to pay the amount corresponding to its claims, without prejudice to the right of the parties to pay the said advances on costs in equal shares, if they deem it advisable.
When a request for an advance on costs has not been complied with, the Secretariat may set a time limit, which must not be less than 30 days, on the expiry of which the relevant claim, whether principal claim or counterclaim, shall be considered as withdrawn. This does not prevent the party in question from lodging a new claim at a later date.
Should one of the parties wish to object to this measure, he must make a request, within the aforementioned period, for the matter to be decided by the Court.
If one of the parties claims a right to a set-off with regard to either a principal claim or counterclaim, such set-off is taken into account in determining the advance to cover the costs of arbitration, in the same way as a separate claim, insofar as it may require the arbitrators to consider additional matters.
When it scrutinizes draft arbitral awards in accordance with Article 21 of the ICC Rules of Arbitration, the International Court of Arbitration pays particular attention to the respect of the formal requirements laid down by the law applicable to the proceedings and, where relevant, by the mandatory rules of the place of arbitration, notably with regard to the reasons for awards, their signature and the admissibility of dissenting opinions.
In setting the arbitrators' fees on the basis of the scale attached to the ICC Rules of Arbitration, the International Court of Arbitration takes into consideration the time spent, the rapidity of the proceedings and the complexity of the dispute, so as to arrive at a figure within the limits specified or, when circumstances require, higher or lower than those limits (Art. 20(3) of the ICC Rules of Arbitration).