On March 9, 2018, the Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC) unveiled its 2018 Arbitration Rules, which became effective immediately. The new rules update and replace those issued in June 2017, before the AIAC changed its name from the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCA) as part of an effort (discussed here) to promote itself as a regional and global center for international arbitration.
The 2018 AIAC Arbitration Rules, like the 2017 KLRCA Rules, are based on the framework provided by the 2013 UNCITRAL Rules and include modifications intended to provide parties with the most cost effective and efficient mechanisms for resolving their disputes through international arbitration. Key features include efficient and expeditious commencement of arbitration, appointment of emergency arbitrators, joinder of parties, consolidation of disputes, and technical review of awards.
There are only a few significant differences between the 2018 AIAC Arbitration Rules and the 2017 KLRCA Rules, but these demonstrate the AIAC’s close attention to the commercial practicalities and expectations of international parties. Notably, the 2018 Rules allow commencement of arbitration or joinder of parties even where a contract lacks an arbitration clause, if the parties have entered into a separate arbitration agreement, as can occur in complex contractual relationships. With AIAC’s approval, arbitrator’s fees and administrative fees may now be paid in any currency. The Rules also expand a Tribunal’s power to require payment of interest on awards and costs. Finally, the Rules include numerous minor clarifications of the 2017 KLRCA Rules.
Although publication of the 2018 AIAC Arbitration Rules might be viewed as an incremental update, it is noteworthy as early evidence of AIAC’s rapid evolution and commitment to meeting the commercial needs of the parties it seeks to serve.
For more information, please see the AIAC Arbitration Rules 2018 here.