Expedited Arbitral Proceedings

The arbitration rules (The General Commercial Arbitration Rules) are amended as follows:

The following definition is added to Article 3 of Section II " Definitions " after the definition of " Arbitration Agreement ":

3. In these rules:

" Expedited Arbitral proceedings ": means the expedited arbitral proceedings under these rules, applicable in any dispute involving a claim whose amount including the cross-demand is equal to or less than $ 50,000, excluding interest and arbitration expenses.

With shortened delays and time for hearings, these proceedings enable the parties to settle their dispute within a maximum period of two (2) months. The Centre and the arbitrator have full discretion for referring the case to general arbitral proceedings.

When the dispute does not involve a specific sum of money or when the amount is undetermined, the parties must mutually agree to resort to expedited arbitral proceedings.

A new Section XII entitled " Expedited arbitral proceedings " is added following Article 66


67. All sections under general proceedings that do not contradict this Division apply to expedited proceedings. Nonetheless, the fifteen (15) day delay provided under the general proceedings sections are reduced to three (3) days in expedited proceedings.

68. A notice under expedited proceedings is done by telephone from the Centre to a party, its mandatory or authorized representative. The notice is deemed to be received on the day of the communication. A notice by telephone is thereafter confirmed in writing or by whatever rapid means allowing evidence of its reception.

69. The plaintiff must include with his or her request for arbitration the fees for opening the file. Such fees are not refundable but are deductible from the plaintiff's share of arbitration expenses. During the expedited proceedings, the Centre may require special expenses such as those defined and rated in the appended schedule. Arbitration expenses, with the exclusion of special expenses, are divided equally between the parties independently of the outcome of the award.

70. The dispute is submitted to an arbitrator. Upon the expiry of the delay for responding to the parties' notice of arbitration and cross-demand, the Centre forwards to the parties a list of five certified arbitrators. Within a period of three (3) days, the parties may object to the appointment of two arbitrators by striking their names from the list. The parties then return the list to the Centre. If the parties fail to do the preceding, the Centre considers that there has been no objection.

On the basis of this list, the Centre appoints an arbitrator that it confirms with the parties. If it is impossible to appoint an arbitrator on the basis of this list, the Centre appoints an arbi-trator whose name is not on the list.

71. The arbitrator sets the time and place for the arbitration in agreement with the parties and informs the Centre thereof, who in turn must notify the parties. In the event of a disagreement, the Centre determines the conditions for the hearing. The notice of hearing shall be transmitted at least three (3) days prior to the holding of the hearing. Exceptionally, a party may request only once that the arbitrator postpone the hearing to a later date by paying consequent costs.

72. Subject to respect for adversarial proceedings, the parties may by mutual agreement waive the making of oral representations and present their allegations and argumentation solely in writing. If the parties cannot agree upon the conduct of written proceedings, the proceedings will be oral.

73. At the beginning of the session, the arbitrator verifies in particular the agreement of the parties regarding:

a) the applicable rules of law and evidence and whether the parties grant the arbitrator the powers of an amiable compositeur;

b) the rules of procedure to be followed;

c) whether or not it is necessary to visit the premises or inspect the property;

d) the number of witnesses and experts that will be heard and the equitable distribution of time during the hearing.

In addition, the arbitrator may of his or her own initiative or at the re-quest of one of the parties, settle any matter that has not been raised or been the object of an agreement between the parties.

It is also possible for the parties to complete the presentation of their allegations, and to furnish, if the arbitral tribunal consents thereto, any amendment or revision of the arbitration notice, the answer to this notice, the cross-demand and the answer to this claim.

Following these verifications, the arbitrator decides if expedited proceedings still apply to this case on the basis of the time provided for the hearing and/or if there has been a change in the sum of money being challenged. If inapplicable, the arbitrator refers the case to the general proceedings for the future while remaining the competent arbitrator. The first session then becomes the pre-hearing and the arbitrator transmits the minutes thereof to the Centre.

To remain within the expedited proceedings, the parties may reduce their claim or agree to a shorter period of hearings.

74. The hearing of the dispute must take place within a period of seven (7) hours in one and the same day. If a longer period is needed for the hearing, supplemental expenses shall be charged to the parties in accordance with the appended schedule.

75. The arbitral tribunal makes its award in writing, stating the reasons on which it is based and signing it, a copy of which is deposited with the Centre within a maximum delay of sixty (60) days from the time the Centre is seized with the case, and at the latest three (3) days after the arbitral tribunal has decided to end the hearings or after it has received documents in the event of a waiver of hearings.

Expedited arbitral proceedings come into force on February 3, 1994.