An institutional arbitration is one that is administered by an institution agreed upon by the parties and conducted in accordance with that institution's arbitration rules.
Generally, the arbitral institution's role in an institutional arbitration includes (but is not limited to): receiving the request for arbitration and distributing it to the respondent; appointing the tribunal where the arbitration agreement provides for them to do so or in default of the parties' ability to do so; setting and administering the financial arrangements for the arbitration (eg setting a deposit or an advance on fees, and paying the tribunal's fees); assisting the tribunal to deal with any issues that arise relating to the conduct of the arbitration (eg a challenge to a tribunal member)
Institutional arbitration has several advantages over ad-hoc arbitration, such as providing procedural rules for conduct of the arbitration, assistance with the appointment of arbitrators, and general administrative assistance.
Indian parties are increasingly opting for institutional arbitration to resolve their disputes.
Some of the leading international arbitration institutions of the world:
1. International Chamber of Commerce International Court of Arbitration
The ICC’s International Court of Arbitration was established in Paris in 1923. It is generally described as the world’s leading international commercial arbitration institution, with less a national character than any other leading arbitral institution.
The ICC’s International Court of Arbitration is not, in fact, a court, and does not itself decide disputes or act as an arbitrator. It is rather an administrative body that acts in a supervisory and appointing capacity under the ICC Rules.
The ICC does not maintain a list of potential arbitrators and instead relies heavily on the experience of its Secretariat and also on the ICC’s National Committees in making arbitrator appointments.
The ICC’s Rules have been criticized as expensive and cumbersome. Despite continuing criticisms about cost and efficiency, there are reasonable grounds for believing that the ICC will continue to be the institution of preference for many sophisticated commercial users.
2. London Court of International Arbitration
Founded in 1892, the LCIA is, by many accounts, the second most popular European institution in the field of international commercial arbitration.
The LCIA has made a determined, and increasingly successful, effort in recent years to overcome perceptions that it is a predominantly English organization. It has appointed five successive non-English presidents, and its vice-presidents include a number of non-English practitioners.
The LCIA Rules contain no Terms of Reference procedure and do not provide for institutional review of draft awards.
3. American Arbitration Association and International Center for Dispute Resolution
The AAA was founded in 1926, following the merger of two New York arbitration institutions. It is based in New York and has approximately 35 regional offices throughout the United States.
The AAA is the leading U.S. arbitral institution, and reportedly handles one of the largest numbers of arbitral disputes in the world.
Non-U.S. parties have sometimes been reluctant to agree to arbitration against U.S. parties under any of the available versions of the AAA rules, fearing parochial predisposition and unfamiliarity with international practice.
4. Permanent Court of Arbitration
The Permanent Court of Arbitration (“PCA”), established by the 1899 and 1907 Hague Conventions for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, is focused particularly on international arbitrations involving states and state-like entities.
Originally, the PCA was a registry for inter-state arbitrations conducted pursuant to the Hague Conventions, which provided a number of institutional administering services. At the present time, the PCA serves as the default institution to select appointing authorities under the UNCITRAL Rules – a function that has assumed increasing importance in recent decades in both international and commercial arbitrations.
5. Swiss Chamber’s Arbitration Institution
The Swiss Chamber’s Arbitration Institution was established in 2004 by the Swiss Chamber of Commerce. It is an independent association which consists of a Court of Arbitration and Secretariat.
Arbitrations under the Swiss Rules benefit from the pro-arbitration Swiss Law on Private International Law and from the availability in Switzerland of substantial numbers of potential arbitrators with impressive arbitration experience.
6. Vienna International Arbitral Centre
The Vienna International Arbitral Centre (VIAC) was established in 1975 and is based in Vienna. It conducts only international arbitrations, as mandated by the VIAC Rules’ requirement that at least one of the parties be of non-Austrian origin or that the dispute be of an international character.
VIAC was originally conceived primarily as a venue for East/West economic disputes during the Cold War. These origins are reflected in the fact that a significant proportion of VIAC’s caseload still includes parties from Central and Eastern Europe or Russia.
7. Stockholm Chamber of Commerce Arbitration Institute
Founded in Stockholm in 1917, the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce Arbitration Institute (SCC) developed into a substantial forum for disputes involving parties from the USSR and China during the 1970s and 1980s.
The SCC remains a preferred foreign arbitral institution for Chinese state-owned entities, with China-related disputes comprising a sizeable portion of the SCC’s current caseload.
The SCC typically appoints members of the Swedish bar, with international experience, or former Swedish judges, as arbitrators.
8. Singapore International Arbitration Centre
The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) was established in 1991, initially for disputes arising out of construction, shipping, banking and insurance contracts. More recently, consistent with Singapore ‘s increasing importance as an international commercial and financial center, SIAC has been a wider range of disputes, including energy, financial, joint venture, sales and other matters.
The largest number of non-Singaporean parties comes from India and China. Its rules are based largely on the UNCITRAL Rules.
9. Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre
The HKIAC was established in 1985 and had developed into Asia’s leading international arbitration institution prior to hand-over of the British administration.
Potential users have sometimes voiced concerns about future stability and judicial independence in Hong Kong, and some parties remain reluctant to designate the HKIAC, particularly in disputes involving Chinese parties.
Nonetheless, the HKIAC receives favorable reviews from a number of informed observers, and concerns about Hong Kong’s future have moderated somewhat, at least in cases not involving Chinese state-owned (or similar) entities.
10. Chinese International Economic and Trade Arbitration Centre
The China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Center (CIETAC) was established by the Chinese government in 1956. It is also known as the Court of Arbitration of China Chamber of International Commerce.
CIETAC enjoys a privileged position in Chinese arbitration and is focused overwhelmingly on Chinese-related disputes. It holds a de facto monopoly on international arbitrations seated in China.
Experienced foreign users remain very skeptical about CIETAC arbitration, particularly in matters involving disputes between Chinese and non-Chinese parties. Uncertainty regarding CIETAC’s management and independence has, in the eyes of many observers, deepened in recent years.
Except in the most routine types of commercial dealings, with limited amounts in dispute, foreign investors and other foreign parties doing business related to China will continue to insist for the foreseeable future on third-country arbitral institutions.
Chinese state entities often suggest that they are unable to accept any arbitral institution other than CIETAC, but experience indicates that this is not correct.
11. Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration
The Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (Cairo Centre) is a non-profit, international organization established in Egypt in 1979 under the auspices of the Egyptian Government and the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization. It administers both domestic and international arbitrations.
The Cairo Centre directs its services primarily towards Asian-African trade and investment disputes, particularly in the Arab world. It reportedly maintains a list of more than 1 000 international arbitrators, drawn primarily from the Asian-African region.
12. World Intellectual Property Organization
The Arbitral Centre of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) was established in Geneva, Switzerland in 1994. Its rules are designed particularly for intellectual property disputes, although other types of controversies are not excluded from use of the WIPO Rules and facilities.
WIPO also administers a very large number of domain names disputes.
13. Court of Arbitration for Sport
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was established in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1984, and is sometimes termed the “Supreme Court of world sport”. Most major sports governing bodies use the CAS’s arbitration facilities, including the International Olympic Committee, International Association of Athletics Federations, Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
The majority of cases, decided by CAS, relate to appeals of FIFA decisions or disputes over doping violations. Other cases cover a mixture of appeals relating to selection and eligibility decisions, governance issues, match-fixing and challenges to the granting of hosting rights for championships.
The efficiency and integrity of CAS arbitrations, including in highly-scrutinized settings such as the Olympics, is a striking illustration of adaptation of the arbitral process to new forms of dispute resolution, using procedures tailored to particular settings and needs.
14. German Institution of Arbitration
The German Institution of Arbitration was originally founded in 1920 to offer arbitration services in Germany. In 1992, the Committee merged with the German Arbitration Institute to form the German Institution of Arbitration (DIS) to provide nationwide arbitration services in Germany for all sectors of the economy.
Much of the DIS’s caseload consists of domestic disputes, although Germany’s enactment of the UNCITRAL Model Law in 1998 may have helped somewhat to attract greater international usage.
15. Japanese Commercial Arbitration Association
The Japan Commercial Arbitration Association (JCAA) was founded in 1950 by the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with a particular focus on international commercial disputes.
The JCAA has adopted the JCAA Commercial Arbitration Rules, most recently revised in February 2014, which have been used principally for Japan-related international transactions.
16. Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration
The Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA) was established in 1982 on the initiative of the Institute of Arbitrators in Australia.
The ACICA enjoys a growing reputation, particularly in arbitrations involving parties from the Asia/Pacific region, providing a credible alternative to either HKIAC or SIAC.
17. Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration
The Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCA) was established in 1978 to promote international commercial arbitration in the Asia/Pacific region.
Although it still has a relatively limited caseload at this stage (three international arbitrations in 2011), KLRCA provides an alternative to HKIAC, ACICA and SIAC in commercial arbitrations involving parties from the Asia/Pacific region.
18. Indian Council of Arbitration
The Indian Council of Arbitration (ICA) was established in 1965 and is regarded as India’s preeminent arbitral institution.
Many users remain cautious about seating arbitrations in India, noting interventionist attitudes of Indian courts and other concerns.
The ICA handled eight international arbitrations in 2010 and 5 in 2011.
19. JAMS International
In 2011, JAMS, a leading domestic mediation and arbitral institution in the United States, combined with the ADR center in Italy to form JAMS International, headquartered in London.
JAMS handles more than 10 000 arbitrations or mediations a year in North America, where its panel of neutral is comprised largely of former U.S. judges and litigators.