October 24, 1997, Geneva, Switzerland
The Revision of Arbitration Rules
Dr. M.I.M. Aboul-Enein (Chairman)
Director, Cairo Regional Centre For International Commercial Arbitration
May I start by paying homage to the remarkable progress the International Federation of Commercial Arbitration Institutions (IFCAI) has achieved over the years under the chairmanship of Mr. Michael Hoellering. I would also like to express my full appreciation and thanks to the organizers of this Conference. Their achievements are confirmed by the striking attendance of about 200 delegates from different States, a fact that obviously owes much to the perfect organization carried out by WIPO with the cooperation of the Swiss Arbitration Association (ASA).
Let me take a moment to comment on the momentous and timely topic of the Conference, "The Institutional Response to Changing Needs of Users." After so many years of putting arbitration and other ADR techniques in actual practice, we start sensing the need to attempt some new adaptations. It is well understood that the rules of every arbitral institution have their own distinctive features, however, they are all, every one of them in their own way, seeking to present the best services that rise up to their satisfaction, emphasizing their independent role and their neutrality. As arbitration and other ADR techniques are becoming more and more popular and gain more momentum, the need arises to amend the rules of different institutions to guarantee expediting the process and simplifying the procedures, for example with respect to appointments, due process guarantees, interim measures, and multi-party arbitration institutions. Some other amendments might prove to be also necessary. The Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration is revising its Rules to realize these objectives and to respond to users needs, with new Rules to become effective on January 1, 1998. It is positive that this session will provide fertile ground for institutional initiatives to amend arbitral rules worldwide.
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Court of Arbitration, the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) are all pioneering new rules, and their steps forward may remain landmarks for various decades to come. We shall also hear about the German Institute of Arbitration (DIS), which is also participating in the process. It was not so long ago that the Asian region introduced an arbitration commission with such powerful and remarkable approaches, namely the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), which has interesting practices especially so far as conciliation is concerned. WIPO, though relatively new, is developing vigorously and in a perfect way.
So let us hear about all these institutions who are working so hard to meet the demands of modern users.