Guide to Fast Track Arbitration Rules
(In force as from 1 January 2017)
1. What are the JAIAC Fast Track Arbitration Rules?
The JAIAC Fast Track Arbitration Rules have been designed for parties who wish to obtain an award in the fastest time possible with minimal costs. The Rules provide that arbitration [with a substantive oral hearing] must be completed within 160 days before a sole arbitrator [unless the parties prefer to have a larger panel]. The Rules also cap the tribunal’s fees and recoverable costs to fixed scale. Other features include tighter obligations for disclosure so as to avoid surprises and controlled usage of expert evidence to ensure that the parties and tribunal are focused only on specific issues.
2. Where can I find the JAIAC Fast Track Arbitration Rules Model Clause?
One of the essential requirements for dispute resolution through arbitration is the existence of an arbitration agreement between the parties. An arbitration agreement must be in the form of an arbitration clause in an agreement or in the form of a supplementary agreement. The JAIAC Fast Track Arbitration Rules model clause, which is enforceable internationally, is as follows:
“Any dispute, controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this contract, or the breach, termination or invalidity thereof shall be settled by arbitration in accordance the JAIAC Fast Track Arbitration Rules.”.
Any party who wants to substitute an existing arbitration clause for one referring the dispute to arbitration under the JAIAC Fast Track Arbitration Rules may adopt the following form of agreement
“The parties hereby agree that the dispute arising out of the contract dated [insert date of contract] shall be settled by arbitration under the JAIAC Fast Track Arbitration Rules.”.
This form may also be used where a contract does not contain an arbitration clause and parties wish to have an ad hoc submission to arbitration.
3. Is there a difference between the JAIAC Fast Track Arbitration Rules and the JAIAC Arbitration Rules?
Yes, there are differences, including:
Number of Arbitrators
Unless the parties agree otherwise, an arbitration conducted under the JAIAC Arbitration Rules is heard by a panel of 3 arbitrators whereas arbitration under the JAIAC Fast Track Arbitration Rules will be conducted by a sole arbitrator. [cf. Article 4].
Under the JAIAC Fast Track Arbitration Rules, claims which are less than/unlikely to exceed JMD3,000,000.00 (in a domestic arbitration) and USD75,000.00 (in an international arbitration) shall immediately proceed as a documents-only arbitration unless a substantive oral hearing is deemed necessary by the arbitrator upon consultation with the parties.
The time frames for submission of statements, hearings and the making of awards differ. Arbitration under the JAIAC Fast Track Arbitration Rules must be completed within a maximum of 160 days whereas arbitrations under the JAIAC Arbitration Rules are estimated to take between 365 days and 550 days to be completed.
Arbitration under the JAIAC Fast Track Arbitration Rules is more cost effective. Furthermore, the rules have been drafted so as to make the assessment of costs more predictable. The JAIAC Fast Track Arbitration Rules comprises a schedule of Arbitrator’s Fees, which arbitrators must have regard for albeit not bound by while fixing fees. Also, the costs of arbitrations under the JAIAC Fast Track Arbitration Rules are capped. For documents-only hearings, costs must not exceed 30% of the total amount of the claim, and for an arbitration with substantive oral hearing, costs must not exceed 50% of the total amount claimed. For more information on costs and fees [cf. Articles 14 and 19].
In view of expediency, the JAIAC Fast Track Arbitration Rules restricts the use of expert evidence or supplementary expert evidence. In order for such evidence to be adduced as evidence, the party wishing to do so must first request for permission or leave from the arbitral tribunal within 14 days after the Statement of Reply or service/exchange of expert reports.
4. What type of disputes can be resolved by arbitration under the JAIAC Fast Track Arbitration Rules?
The JAIAC Fast Track Arbitration Rules may be used for any type of dispute capable of being resolved by arbitration.
5. What are the advantages in using the JAIAC Fast Track Arbitration Rules?
If the arbitration clause does not mention the JAIAC Fast Track Arbitration Rules, the hearings are conducted according to existing arbitration laws and procedure. Incorporating the JAIAC Fast Track Arbitration Rules into your arbitration clause has great benefits. The Rules allow you to consolidate disputes, to avoid compelling arbitration in court, and to receive a quick award with minimal costs. You would also have the opportunity to be awarded legal fees and your share of the Panel’s expenses.
6. How much will it cost to arbitrate under the JAIAC Fast Track Arbitration Rules?
The arbitration fee is divided into two categories – the administrative costs and the tribunal’s fee. The administrative costs are 20% of the tribunal’s fees and cover the JAIAC cost of administering the arbitration.The tribunal’s fee are divided into different scales for international and domestic arbitrations. The schedule of fees and administration costs can be found in the schedule to the JAIAC Fast Track Arbitration Rules, which is reproduced as follows: