The Asian International Arbitration Centre [“AIAC“] constantly revises and updates its rules to ensure that they remain relevant and applicable for efficient and effective dispute resolution. AIAC has recently updated and issued the new AIAC Arbitration Rules 2023, which takes effect from 24th August 2023 [“2023 Rules“]
The last update was vide the AIAC Arbitration Rules 2021 [“2021 Rules“] and our article on the same can be found in the following link: https://cheehoe.com/a-quicker-and-more-comprehensive-arbitration-key-changes-in-the-aiac-arbitration-rules-2021/.
We highlight 5 of the key changes in the 2023 Rules.
The 2021 Rules introduced a consolidated structure where the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules and Fast Track Arbitration Rules were incorporated in the 2021 Rules.
The 2023 Rules have now separated all three, each with its distinct application and procedure as follows:
- Part I – AIAC Arbitration Rules 2023
- Part II – UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules
- Schedule 4 – AIAC Fast Track Procedure (optional for parties)
However, if there is a conflict between Part 1 and Part 2, the provisions contained in Part 1 will prevail.
2. Third-party funding
Rule 12 of the 2023 Rules now makes it mandatory for a party to disclose the existence of third-party funding and identity of the third-party funder.
The 2021 Rules merely recognises third-party funding however only gives the arbitral tribunal discretion to make enquiries on the same. It was not a requirement to disclose any funding otherwise.
3. Tribunal-facilitated settlement
Rule 14 of the 2023 Rules also introduces tribunal-facilitated settlement, if parties mutually agree to be subject to the same. This was not found in the 2021 Rules. Any impartiality of the arbitrator is deemed waived upon the party’s agreement to a facilitated settlement.
4. Disclosure of awards
The 2021 Rules allowed the publication of awards only with the consent of the parties to the arbitration.
Rule 21(5) of the 2023 Rules however changes this, and allows the AIAC to publish any award 2 years from the date of the award. Parties are deemed to have consented to the disclosure of the award by the AIAC 2 years after the award is granted, unless it is informed otherwise by the parties in writing to the Director, before the award is released.
5. Vacancy of AIAC Director
Rule 24 of the 2023 Rules is also a new one. It empowers the following persons (in order of precedence), to assume the role of the Director of the AIAC in instances where the director’s seat is vacated:
5.1 The Deputy Director;
5.2 The Assistant Director;
5.3 The Head of Legal Services.
The introduction of this rule was made necessary as there were two occasions since the 2021 Rules were issued, where the director’s seat was vacated with no immediate replacement.
The new AIAC Arbitration Rules 2023 is accessible through the AIAC’s website: https://admin.aiac.world/uploads/ckupload/ckupload_20231029100344_34.pdf