The Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution ("SCAI") is Switzerland’s well-established arbitration organization. The Swiss Rules of International Arbitration ("Swiss Rules") are its renowned arbitration rules offering uniform, efficient and cost effective means for bind-ing dispute resolution. One key feature of the Swiss Rules is the expedited procedure which provides for a final award within 6 months.
In response to companies' increasing demand for quicker and more efficient dispute resolution, SCAI has published a new customizable arbitration clause, which allows companies worldwide to agree in advance on super-expedited arbitration proceedings. The customizable arbitration clause works as follows: The existing standard arbitration clause builds the foundation. In addition, four different options are offered, aimed at saving time and costs. These options, which may be chosen individually or all together, are:
- Expedited procedure, with a sole arbitrator and a final award within 6 months;
- Final award based on documentary evidence only (i.e. no hearing for oral arguments or witnesses);
- Faster response time for the Respondent's answer to the notice of arbitration (15 days instead of 30 days);
- Faster constitution of the arbitral tribunal (15 days instead of 30 days).
In addition, the customizable clause allows parties to agree on mediation under the Swiss Rules of Mediation at any time before or during the arbitral proceedings.
The customizable arbitration clause may be tailor-made through an innovative online drafting tool accessible on the SCAI website, where the user selects the preferred option(s) and then has the respective arbitration clause shown immediately. The customizable arbitration clause and the respective online drafting tool are new approaches in drafting arbitration clauses. The online tool allows companies to tailor the proceedings to their respective needs, while ensuring the effectiveness of the arbitration agreement. By using the tool, pathological arbitration clauses are avoided. For this, SCAI was nominated by GAR for a prize in the category "innovation by an individual or organization".