What is changing?

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has announced that new 2015 ICC Expert Rules (2015 Rules) will replace the 2003 ICC Rules for Expertise (2003 Rules). The 2015 Rules clarify how parties can use experts and neutrals (i.e. mediators) to help resolve their cross-border disputes.

When will the change be effective?

The 2015 Rules will come into force on 1 February 2015. 
The 2015 Rules will also apply in circumstances where the parties had agreed to the proposal or appointment of an expert by the ICC or had agreed to refer their dispute to the administration of expertise proceedings under the 2003 Rules (unless otherwise agreed).

Summary and structure of the 2015 Rules

The 2015 Rules are divided into the three distinct services offered by the ICC through its International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution:

  • "Proposal of experts and neutrals, whereby the ICC puts forward the name(s) of one or more experts or neutrals upon a request from one or more parties, a court or an arbitral tribunal;
  • Appointment of experts and neutrals, whereby the ICC makes an appointment that is binding upon the requesting parties; 
  • Administration of expertise proceedings, whereby the ICC is chosen to administer and supervise the entire expert proceedings." [1]

Examples of the circumstances in which the ICC’s services may be used are contained in the relevant preamble to each set of Rules. [2] The Rules for the Appointment of Experts and Neutrals and the Rules for the Administration of Expert Proceedings are each preceded by suggested clauses, together with drafting notes and guidance.

Notable changes introduced by the 2015 Rules

  • Streamlining of front end services:
    • The 2015 Rules have been drafted in a way to help ensure that expert proceedings are time and cost-effective. The Rules for the Administration of Expert Proceedings state that “the expert and the parties shall make every effort to conduct the expert proceedings in an expeditious and cost-effective manner…”[3].
    • Other changes and amendments, made in an effort to streamline proceedings, include the wider use of email communication [4] , the use of more than one expert [5] (where appropriate) and greater guidance over the availability of the expert [6] , as well as the requirement to detail what will be required of them (by way of reports, meeting and site visits etc.)
  • Wider application
    •  The 2015 Rules now expressly apply to neutrals (e.g. adjudicators, mediators, neutral evaluators or dispute board members mediators), in addition to experts[7]
  • Impartiality
    • Under the 2003 Rules an expert had to be “independent”. The same is true for the 2015 Rules but with the additional express provision for the expert (or neutral) to be “impartial”. This duty is reinforced within each of the three sections of the rules. Should a party disagree with the impartiality of the expert (or neutral), a written objection can be filed with the ICC [8] . 

The ICC 2015 Rules are available here.