Are efforts being made by arbitration institutions or local courts to impose strict deadlines for the rendering of awards?
Local courts have no competence to influence the time period arbitral tribunals use for rendering awards. However, extraordinarily lengthy proceedings may violate the right to a fair trial of a party and thus constitute a reason for setting-aside the award.
The Vienna Rules foresee no general deadlines for the rendering of awards. However, the arbitrators are required to inform the secretary general of the anticipated day of the rendering of the award once the proceedings are closed (Art 32). In practice, the average duration of arbitrations administered by the VIAC is one year.
Among the grounds for setting aside an international or domestic award is when the arbitral tribunal rules without complying with its mandate, which includes inter alia the situation where the tribunal renders an award after the expiry of an agreed deadline.
On another note, the ICC announced earlier this year that tribunals are expected to submit draft awards within three months after the last substantive hearing concerning matters to be decided in an award or, if later, the filing of the last written submissions (excluding cost submissions). This timeframe will be set at two months for cases heard by sole arbitrators.
If a draft award is submitted beyond that timeframe, the ICC Court – unless satisfied that the delay is justified by factors beyond the arbitrators’ control or by exceptional circumstances – may lower the arbitrators’ fees as follows:
- For draft awards submitted for scrutiny up to seven months after the last substantive hearing or written submissions, whichever is later, the fees that the ICC Court would otherwise have considered fixing are reduced by 5 to 10%.
- For draft awards submitted up to 10 months after the last substantive hearing or written submissions, the fees that the ICC Court would otherwise have considered fixing are reduced by 10 to 20%.
- For draft awards submitted for scrutiny more than 10 months after the last substantive hearing or written submissions, the fees that the ICC Court would otherwise have considered fixing are reduced by 20% or more.
Though specific measures are not known, the Arbitration Act predicts that once the deadline for the conclusion of the arbitration process expires it is automatically concluded and the arbitrators may be responsible for the damage they can eventually cause.
In domestic arbitration proceedings, according to the Civil Procedure Code, unless parties agree otherwise, an arbitral award must be delivered within six months of constitution of the arbitral tribunal, the arbitral tribunal being able to extend such a deadline for justified reasons only once, with three months.
Constant efforts for settling the disputes in due time by means of arbitration proceedings are being made. As such, in average finalising an international arbitration takes approximately one year, except for very complex cases where multiple expert reports are necessary.
The Swedish Arbitration Act stipulates no time limit for rendering the award.
Under the SCC Rules, an arbitral award shall be rendered within six months of the date when the case was referred to the tribunal, unless the SCC extends this time limit. In SCC administered cases, the average time from referral of the case to the arbitrators until the award is rendered is less than 10 months.
Under the AMINZ arbitration protocol the tribunal is required to publish the award within three months of the conclusion of the hearing or within such extended time as the tribunal may reasonably require. The protocol also provides for the tribunal to issue an interim or partial award where appropriate.
The Swiss Chambers' Arbitration Institution allows parties pursuant to Art. 42 Swiss Rules to agree on an expedited procedure, which times the arbitral award to be rendered within six months from the date on which the secretariat of the arbitration court transmitted the file to the arbitral tribunal. On state level, no such efforts are being made.
The CPC already provides that, unless the parties have agreed otherwise, a tribunal must render its award within six months from the first arbitration session. This is reflected in the DIAC Rules, although in practice the deadline is frequently extended.
Rule 11, KLRCA Arbitration Rules requires arbitral tribunals to render their final award within 3 months of the closing of the final oral or written submissions. The rules, however, permit parties to consensually extend the above deadline and the Director of the KLRCA to grant an extension of time irrespective of the parties’ agreement (Rule 11(3), KLRCA Arbitration Rules).
Malaysian courts have not imposed any deadlines for the rendering of awards. This procedure is viewed as a matter for the parties to agree upon in which the courts shall not interfere.
All of the major U.S. arbitral institutions provide a default deadline for the arbitrator to issue an award after proceedings have completed, typically of 30 days. Parties may also specify a deadline in their contracts.
The IAA is silent in this regard. For expedited proceedings, the SIAC Arbitration Rules provide that an arbitral tribunal must render its award within six months from the date when the arbitral tribunal is constituted. SIAC Arbitration Rules, Rule 5.2. There are no specific efforts in this regard.
Yes, in Brazil arbitration institutions and arbitration courts always seek to adopt every possible effort so that arbitration awards are rendered within the period stipulated by the parties, and if the parties didn’t stipulate time, within the legal deadline provided in Article 23 of Law nº 9.307/96, of six (6) months from the institution of arbitration or the arbitrator replacement.
Legislation varies by province or territory. Some domestic arbitration legislation provides flexible deadlines for when the award must be rendered. Arbitral institutions also may impose deadlines, such as the BCICAC's rule requiring that the tribunal make its final award within 60 days of the hearing closing. Parties are permitted to contract for time limits. If there is no legislation or agreement as to a deadline, the award should be made in a "reasonable" time. Ordinarily courts are not involved in this aspect of arbitration.
There are no current efforts to impose stricter deadlines for the rendering of awards. However, the Panama Arbitration Law establishes that the arbitration tribunal shall issue the final award within two (2) months after the final hearing (for domestic arbitrations) or as may otherwise be agreed to by the parties or as may be established in the applicable arbitration rules (for international arbitration).
Moreover, under the rules of the two main arbitration institutions in Panama, CeCAP and CESCON), the arbitration tribunal shall issue the final award within two (2) months after the final hearing, both for domestic and international arbitration.
Arbitration Law provides a time frame of 6 months since the answer of the claim for the arbitration proceedings to be concluded. But this period can be extended by agreement of the parties.
According to the Article 33 of the ISTAC Arbitration Rules with the title of “Time Limit for the Award”, the sole arbitrator or arbitral tribunal shall render the award on the merits of the dispute, within 6 months from the date upon which the completion of the signatures on the terms of reference or, the date of notification to the sole arbitrator or arbitral tribunal by the Secretariat of the approval of the terms of reference. If the parties agreed not to draw up a terms of reference, the time limit for the award shall begin to run from the date of the submission of the procedural timetable to the Secretariat. The board, using the procedural timetable as a base, may extend the time limit on its own initiative. The time limit for the award may be extended, upon the agreement of the parties; if the parties fail to agree, the board may extend the time limit upon the sole arbitrator or arbitral tribunal’s request or in cases where it deems necessary on its own initiative.
Many institutional arbitration rules provide for specific and tight deadlines for rendering the award (e.g. six months after constitution of the tribunal). However, these deadlines are not binding for the arbitral tribunal and often also the parties request longer deadlines for filing their submissions. Some arbitration institutions, e.g. the ICC, closely monitor the proceedings including the timewise course of the proceedings. However, their influence on accelerating the arbitration are currently limited.
Under Italian law the award should be issued within 240 days from the appointment of the arbitrators. This term is automatically extended for a further 180 days in some cases provided by the law (the collection of evidence, appointment of a technical expert, change in the composition of the tribunal or where a partial award is rendered).
The parties can in any case agree on a different deadline and also on its extension. An extension can also be granted by the President of the court of first instance where the arbitration is seated, if requested by one of the parties.
The ICC has launched Expedited Procedure Rules where awards must be rendered within 6 months of the case management conference, which come into force on 1st March 2017. The current Law Commission consultation also is exploring a more streamline approach, see question 5 above.
Polish arbitration law does not provide any time limits for issuance of an award.
However, the parties may by reference to the arbitration rules agree on a deadline for issuing the award. The rules of the Court of Arbitration at the Polish Chamber of Commerce provide that an award should be issued within nine months after commencement of the proceeding and no later than 30 days after closing of the hearing. The secretary general of the Court may, at his own initiative or at the request of the presiding arbitrator, extend the deadline by a specified period if necessary due to the complexity of the issues to be resolved or other circumstances of the case. Failure to meet the deadline does not in itself invalidate the award.