"Okay, the above title is our first foray into clickbait (and last). While we won't have T1000s acting as ArbitrationatorsTM any time soon (although AI is improving at Skynet pace, just check out this ODR platform), there are certainly some new developments that will make international arbitration quicker, cheaper and just as cool (at least in our minds).
While our dream of tech heavy `Arbitration 2.0' hasn't been realised in Australia just yet, major arbitral institutions are offering cost efficient international arbitration for smaller claims in the hope of providing a quicker and cheaper alternative to the Courts.
The ICC's Expedited Procedure Rules (EPR), set to come in to force next month, will be a game changer. Applicable to claims of US$2,000,000 and under, here is our `summary' of the EPR.
- Terms of reference? Tear it up.
- Three arbitrators? No, just one please.
- Longwinded submissions and witness statements? Yawn. Make them shorter.
- Document production? ICC says no.
- Attending a hearing? Um, have you heard of Skype?
The result, lower admin and arbitrator fees and a sixmonth turnaround for a final award.
These types of things wouldn't have been created if there wasn't a demand for it. What does this mean for Australia? Well, that is where Australia's key arbitration institution, ACICA, can step in.
Our suggestion is for ACICA to ask nicely and `borrow' the Federal Court's technology and facilities. This would help it compete with the likes of ICC to attract those hungry for quick, efficient, small claims international arbitration down under.