A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing? - Journal of Enforcement of Arbitration Awards, Vol. 2, No. 1
Originally from the Journal of Enforcement of Arbitration Awards
Do the Prague Rules, intended to promote efficiency in international arbitration, run the risk of opening the door to challenges to international arbitral awards?
There has been much interest within the international arbitration community in the recently-promulgated Rules on the Efficient Conduct of Proceedings in International Arbitration (Prague Rules). Signed in Prague on 14 December 2018, the Rules are the end result of a process that started in Moscow in April 2017, at the annual conference of the Russian Arbitration Association (RAA). During a panel discussion on the “Creeping Americanization of International Arbitration”, the Chairman of the RAA Board, Vladimir Khvalei, suggested that the prevalence of common law countries in the international arbitration space was leading to a dependence on, and preference for, the common law methods of taking evidence in tribunals. This was to the detriment of the civil law system with its inquisitorial methods and restricted document production. It was mooted that the prevalence of common law methods, or the “Americanization of international arbitration” was the cause of delay and expense in tribunal proceedings and that there was a need to look at the method of dealing with evidence in international arbitration with fresh eyes.
A working group was accordingly formed, consisting in the main of practitioners from central and eastern European jurisdictions. It was charged with the task of coming up with a form of rules that would provide an alternative to the already well-established IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitrations (2010 version)