Introduction The American Arbitration Association (AAA) and its international arm, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution® (ICDR) are committed to the principle that commercial arbitration, and particularly international commercial arbitration, should provide a simpler, less expensive and more expeditious form of dispute resolution than resort to national courts.
While arbitration must be a fair process, care must also be taken to prevent the importation of procedural measures and devices from different court systems, which may be considered conducive to fairness within those systems, but which are not appropriate to the conduct of arbitrations in an international context and which are inconsistent with an alternative form of dispute resolution that is simpler, less expensive and more expeditious. One of the factors contributing to complexity, expense and delay in recent years has been the migration from court systems into arbitration of procedural devices that allow one party to a court proceeding access to information in the possession of the other, without full consideration of the differences between arbitration and litigation.
The purpose of these guidelines is to make it clear to arbitrators that they have the authority, the responsibility and, in certain jurisdictions, the mandatory duty to manage arbitration proceedings so as to achieve the goal of providing a simpler, less expensive, and more expeditious process. Unless the parties agree otherwise in writing, these guidelines will become effective in all international cases administered by the ICDR commenced after May 31, 2008, and may be adopted at the discretion of the tribunal in pending cases. They will be reflected in amendments incorporated into the next revision of the International Arbitration Rules. They may be adopted in arbitration clauses or by agreement at any time in any other arbitration administered by the AAA.