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21 Feb 2018

Consolidation of arbitrations conducted under different institutional rules of arbitration: a proposal

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The SIAC has issued a proposal for the adoption by arbitral institutions of a protocol for the consolidation of arbitration proceedings conducted under different institutional rules of arbitration.

Many institutional rules provide for consolidation of multiple arbitration proceedings, thereby offering the prospect of a quicker and more cost efficient process than resolving the disputes in separate parallel proceedings. Consolidation provisions are confined to situations where the proceedings are subject to a common set of arbitration rules. The proposed protocol is aimed at bringing the benefits of consolidation to situations where there are multiple arbitrations subject to different arbitration rules. Therefore, in an appropriate case, arbitrations being conducted under the arbitration rules of, say, the SIAC and the ICC could be consolidated.

The protocol proposed by the SIAC envisages a mechanism that addresses who should decide an application for cross-institution consolidation, what standards should be applied to determine the application, the timing of the application and status of existing tribunal appointments, the prospect of partial consolidation and whether a reasoned decision on consolidation should be provided to the parties. If an application for consolidation is granted, the proposed protocol would also address by which institution and under what procedural rules the consolidated arbitrations would be administered.

The SIAC has requested feedback in relation to the proposed protocol and is in the process of evaluating responses to that request. More details on the development of this innovative proposal will follow in due course.

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