Arbitral institutions specialize in overseeing and administering arbitral disputes. They exist all over the world, and they cater to the users of international arbitration, aiming to facilitate the process of resolving disputes between international businesses.
The collective influence of arbitral institutions over the field of international arbitration has increased significantly in recent decades. Most institutions publish their own procedural rules, and many of them have refined their rules and issued specialized categories of rules to account for the changing preferences of the business community that relies upon those rules. When parties to an arbitration agreement refer to a particular institution in their contract, or refer to the arbitral rules of that institution, a dispute arising out of their agreement will take place under the auspices of the institution. That means the institution will have administrative authority over various procedural aspects of the dispute from start to finish.
Parties wishing to pursue arbitration without involving an institution can do so as well. Such arbitrations are referred to as ad hoc proceedings and are discussed below.