Chapter 20 - Documents-Only Arbitration - International Arbitration Law And Practice, Third Edition
Mauro Rubino-Sammartano is a Partner at LawFed-BRSA. Mr. Rubino-Sammartano is currently the President of the European Court of Arbitration and of the Mediation Centre of Europe, the Mediterranean and Middle East. He is also an associate member, as Italian advocate of Littleton Chambers in London. Mr. Rubino-Sammartano has acted and regularly acts as chairman, party-appointed, sole arbitrator and counsel in a large number of arbitral proceedings. His practice is largely based on international and national litigation and arbitration in the field of contracts, construction law, mergers and acquisitions, sales of goods, joint ventures and interlocutory injunctions.
Originally from International Arbitration Law and Practice, Third Edition
MIDDLE-SIZE AND SMALL CLAIMS
20.1. Specific Problems of Middle-Size and Small Claims
As discussed earlier, in arbitral proceedings speed is of the essence for the claimant. It is difficult then to justify so-called fasttrack arbitration, or that there could be accelerated arbitration, slow, and possibly also very slow proceedings.
Speed should depend on the circumstances and on the diligence of the arbitrators, rather than on the proceedings’ rapidity being granted or refused depending on the type of dispute, such as the amount in dispute or the subject matter.
However, speed, important as it is, cannot solve by itself all the difficulties that are met with in arbitral proceedings, such as the costs of the proceedings. While some very large disputes may be indifferent to costs, when it comes to middle-size or small disputes costs become a delicate issue, since frequently they are out of proportion to the amount in dispute. In such situations, reducing the number of the arbitrators from three to one may be the solution.
Despite this possibility the tendency of many arbitration rules is to provide for three arbitrators. Some arbitration rules are very explicit about the number, such as the rules of the German Institution of Arbitration which provide:1
CHAPTER 20: DOCUMENTS ONLY ARBITRATION
Middles Seize and Small Claims
20.1 Specific Problems of Middle Size and Small Claims
20.2 Consumer Arbitration
20.3 Documents Only Arbitration
20.4 Documents Only Arbitration and Due Process