Introduction to the KCAB International Rules and Practice - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 72, No. 1
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
The Korean Commercial Arbitration Board (KCAB) was established as an independent arbitration institution in 1970. Originally known as the Korean Commercial Arbitration Association, the institution adopted its present name in 1980. The KCAB is a state-backed arbitral institution that receives substantial funding and support from the Korean Ministry of Justice. The KCAB is the only officially recognized arbitration institution in Korea.
The KCAB has amended its arbitration rules periodically over the years. Before 2007, the KCAB published only a single set of arbitration rules. These rules were called the Commercial Arbitration Rules, and many features of these rules were modeled after domestic Korean litigation practice.
The KCAB adopted a bifurcated system in 2007, with separate domestic arbitration rules and international arbitration rules. In this regard, the KCAB was inspired by the lead of the American Arbitration Association (AAA), which adopted separate international rules in 2006, and at the same time created the International Center for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) as a separate division to administer the new international rules. Although the KCAB adopted a separate set of international rules a year later, it did not follow the AAA model of creating a separate division operating under a different name. Rather, the KCAB Secretariat administers both the domestic rules and the international rules, though the KCAB created a separate internal division to administer international cases.
The first KCAB international rules, KCAB International Arbitration Rules (2007), were strongly influenced by the ICC Rules in effect at the time. Many Korean practitioners became familiar with the ICC arbitration in the wake of the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the influx of foreign investment that began in 1998 when Korea adopted the Foreign Investment Promotion Act. By the time of the 2007 KCAB rules revisions, Korean practitioners had more collective experience with the ICC Rules than the rules of the other major international arbitration institutions.