The arbitration rules of Russia’s most prominent arbitral institution, the International Commercial Arbitration Court at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation (the ICAC), have been fundamentally reformed. The ICAC used to operate under its international commercial arbitration Rules issued 2005, as amended (the 2005 Rules). These single rules have been replaced by a complex set of separate rules governing arbitration of specific types of disputes:
- Arbitration Rules for International Commercial Arbitration (the ICA Rules);
- Arbitration Rules for Domestic Disputes (the Domestic Arbitration Rules);
- rbitration Rules for Corporate Disputes (the ARCD);
- Arbitration Rules for Sports Disputes1 .
Furthermore, new or updated versions of the ICAC documents governing its organisational structure, administrative matters and the scale of arbitration fees were adopted2 .
The new arbitration rules became effective on 27 January 2017 3 .
The new arbitration rules differ significantly from those previously applied by the ICAC, and require explanation. This update discusses key changes and offers practical advice to parties with regard to the reform of the ICAC Rules. The ICAC arbitration rules reform was by no means spontaneous: it was made necessary by the Russian arbitration law reform4 which changed Russia’s Law on International Commercial Arbitration (1993) (the ICA Law) and replaced Russia’s domestic arbitration law with a completely new statute. Under the original version of the ICA Law, cross-border economic disputes as well as any domestic Russian disputes involving Russian companies with foreign participation were deemed eligible for international commercial arbitration under the ICA Law, i.e. were de facto exempted from the domestic arbitration dispute5 . The 2005 Rules followed the ICA Law (1993) very closely, including in terms of defining the international commercial disputes that can be submitted to the ICAC. The ICAC did not administer domestic arbitrations, though there existed a separate arbitration institution under the auspices of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation which administered domestic commercial arbitrations - the Arbitration Court for Economic Disputes (the ACED). The reform changed the scope of disputes eligible for international arbitration under the ICA Law6 , so that disputes involving Russian companies with foreign participation are no longer automatically deemed international for the purposes of the ICA Law and may qualify as domestic (“internal”), to be arbitrated under a different regime set forth in the new statute on domestic arbitration. Other changes include specialised regulation of disputes relating to the corporate management of and/or participation in Russian companies (corporate disputes).
The new set of the ICAC Rules takes into account these regulatory changes. The new ICA Rules are also modernized, taking into account recent developments in the arbitration rules of the leading foreign arbitration institutions.
2. Scope of the new rules and the operation of pre-existing arbitration clauses The ICA Rules The new ICA Rules apply to the arbitration of disputes that are eligible for international commercial arbitration under the reformed ICA Law7 . The ICA Rules shall apply to disputes arising after 1 September 2016 (i.e., after the entry into force of the revised version of the ICA Law) and eligible for international arbitration under the revised ICA Law. In addition, these Rules shall apply to any disputes arising under/covered by arbitration agreements made before 1 September 2016, provided that such disputes were deemed eligible for international arbitration under the pre-reform ICA Law8 , irrespective of whether these disputes are deemed eligible for international arbitration under the revised version of that law.