23 May 2017, Zagreb, Croatia: Last Tuesday, under the auspices of ICC Croatia, a regional conference on Arbitration took place in Zagreb. This event served as a launch of the ICC Revised Arbitration Rules taking into account regional challenges.
With four panels, the full-day Conference covered topics, from the needs of users in the arbitration process to small claims under the new ICC Expedited Rules; post-merger and acquisitions disputes, arbitration and insolvency, as well as put a spotlight on regional challenges to the attractive dispute resolution process in the ADRIA region.
ICC Albania was represented at the regional challenges panel by Mr. Fatos Lazimi, Partner at Optima Legal & Financial and Albania Member to the ICC Court of Arbitration.
Mr. Lazimi, while addressing his discussion recognized that the region represents a potential to absorb and adopt the best ICC dispute resolution practices among businesses actors which operate regionally and transnationally.
Following his discourse, Mr. Lazimi said:
‘’However further challenges lie in terms of legislative frameworks in the Region countries, increase of awareness among regional business on unique benefits which ICC arbitration as an outstanding dispute resolution method and institution could offer as well the creation of a new culture in regional business for a better understanding of arbitration as the only way to deal with their disputes and which could meet their needs and expectations.
The process of recognition and enforcement of international arbitration awards in general and ICC Awards in particular in the Region countries, despite prevailing pro arbitration policies, could face in the future some degree of resistance by local state courts towards such process.
On the other hand as it remains to be seen with the enforcement of Awards produced by ICC newly introduced expedited proceedings in view of possible concerns with due process of law as barriers to recognition, the enforcement of Interim Orders which now may be issued by ICC Emergency Arbitrator could face resistance in those countries of the Region which by way of their legislation consider them as temporary and not final in their nature as per the Convention and thus unenforceable.’’
ICC frequently organises arbitration conferences throughout the world. Now South Eastern Europe has the opportunity to take its part in the stage with its own regional conference and other local events.
About the latest revision of the ICC Arbitration rules
The ultimate goal of the latest revision of the ICC Arbitration rules is to further increase the efficiency, transparency and ethics of ICC arbitrations providing for a streamlined arbitration with reduced scales of fees.
Effective as of 1 March 2017, the revised rules provide that expedited procedure rules automatically apply to all arbitrations with amounts in dispute below US$2 million. Other changes comprise the possibility for any party to be in a position to ask the ICC Court to provide reasons for its decisions, such as decisions on challenges of arbitrators (without need to seek consent of all of the parties, as required under the previous Rules), prima facie jurisdictional decisions and consolidations.