Institutional arbitrations are conducted pursuant to institutional arbitration rules and overseen by an arbitral institution with responsibility for various aspects relating to constituting the arbitral tribunal, administrative, financial and similar matters. An arbitral institution is an indispensable element in institutional arbitration. Arbitral institution is usually defined as a permanent organization with a set of its own arbitration rules regulating the services provided by the organization and other procedural aspects of arbitration.
Generally speaking, the main advantages of institutional arbitration include the presence of default arbitration rules, the services from a permanent organization and a higher degree of certainty in respect of the procedural aspects of the arbitration. The involvement from arbitral institutions on issues relating to the procedural aspect of the arbitration, particularly at the beginning of the arbitral process, such as appointment of arbitrators or the selection of an arbitral seat, prove to be very useful in some cases.
The arbitration agreement must be in writing and duly signed by the parties. The arbitration agreement can be in the form of an arbitration clause in a contract or in the form of a separate agreement. The essential elements of an arbitration agreement which are existence of present or possibility of future differences; iIntention to resolve differences through arbitration; written agreement to be bound by the decision of arbitration; consensus ad idem; concluded consent to refer the dispute to arbitration.
STRUCTURE OF A TYPICAL INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION
While there are many different variations, depending on a wide range of factors, a typical arbitration will usually proceed along a path such as:
1. Request for arbitration / answer to the request for arbitration;
2. Constitution of the arbitral tribunal;
3. Establishing Procedural Order No 1 to set out the procedural aspects of the arbitration proceedings;
4. Exchange of written submissions (usually in one or two rounds, and usually accompanied by supporting documents, e.g. witness statements and expert reports, on which the parties rely);
5. Requests for production of additional documents (typically, after the first round of written submissions and before a second round);
6. Pre-hearing administrative conference, often conducted by telephone;
7. Oral hearing;
8. Post-hearing submissions, including submissions on costs;
9. Closure of the proceedings by the arbitral tribunal;
10. Arbitral award; and
11. Proceedings after the arbitral award, as the case may be (correction, interpretation, or additional awards)
JUDICIAL ASSISTANCE FROM COURTS
There are limited grounds for judicial intervention or assistance in an ongoing international arbitration. These include:
1. Challenge of an arbitrator(s);
2. Provisional measures in aid of arbitral proceedings;
3. Assistance in the taking of evidence for use in arbitral proceedings;
4. Annulment of arbitral awards; and
5. Recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards.