The fast-track arbitration that was completed early this year was, among other things, a dramatic demonstration that even a complex proceeding can be resolved on a very short schedule. However, the successful conclusion of that arbitration was dependent on a number of factors that may not be easy to duplicate without appropriate changes in the ICC Rules. The challenge — now that it has been shown that arbitration can be completed on such a schedule — is to institutionalize the procedure so that fast-track arbitration can be a reliable alternative for contracting parties, rather than a rare event that is dependent upon special efforts by all involved.
The proceeding we dealt with was truly on a fast track, as reflected in my own experience. On December 18, 1991, I was asked if I would serve as an arbitrator; on December 19, my name was submitted; on December 20, my appointment was confirmed by the ICC. The Terms of Reference were signed December 27; briefs, affidavits, and exhibits of the parties were submitted December 30; and the hearing was held January 2, 1992. The Tribunal submitted its Award to the ICC on January 4, and the ICC confirmed it on January 7* Thus, the Tribunal’s work on the Award was completed scarcely more than two weeks after I learned I was to participate.