As we reported recently, the Japan Commercial Arbitration Association (JCAA) published new Commercial Arbitration Rules earlier this year. The new JCAA Rules apply to all arbitrations commenced on or after 1 February 2014.
We recently published a note comparing the new JCAA Rules to the latest rules of three other major institutions popular with parties in Asia: SIAC (the Singapore International Arbitration Centre), HKIAC (the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre), and the ICC (International Chamber of Commerce).
The new JCAA Rules include a number of provisions intended to bring the Rules up-to-date with revisions to the rules of other institutions. It is hoped that the revised Rules will attract more parties to arbitrate in Japan.
The below summary table highlights the extent to which the new JCAA Rules are in line with recent trends in international arbitration and the adoption of modern procedures by major institutions in Asia.
In particular, the new JCAA Rules now include provisions dealing with multi-party and/or multi-contract arbitrations, the appointment of emergency arbitrators in cases requiring urgent interim relief, and the use of expedited procedures in low value and/or limited complexity cases.
While the above table demonstrates the broad uniformity across the rules of the major institutions on issues such as multi-party arbitration and the appointment of emergency arbitrators, there remain differences between the procedures of the main institutions. In particular, the distinguishing features of JCAA arbitration include:
(a) the option to use ‘med-arb’ procedures – i.e. mediation of a dispute subject to arbitration proceedings with the same person appointed as both mediator and arbitrator;
(b) no Terms of Reference stage (in contrast to the ICC Rules);
(c) no provision for scrutiny of draft awards (in contrast to the ICC Rules and the SIAC Rules); and
(d) a comparatively limited panel of arbitrators, which is considered by some in the Tokyo market to be relatively domestic and opaque in its constitution.
A detailed comparison and further commentary on the rules of each institution may be found in our recent update on the new JCAA Rules.