The revised AIAC Arbitration Rules, 2018 (formerly known as the “KLRCA Arbitration Rules”) is a set of rules and procedure which adopt the framework provided by the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules (as revised in 2013). 2017 brought 100% increase in arbitration cases at AIAC compared to 2016. These New Rules are timely in the light of recent trends of costs and length optimisation of arbitration proceedings. Top features of the revised rules are -
- User friendly guide providing ten most relevant definitions used throughout the Rules
- New model arbitration clause and model submission agreement
- New rules as to commencement of arbitration
- Expeditious appointment of emergency arbitrators
- Joinder of the Parties
- New power of the Director of the AIAC to consolidate disputes
- Technical review of Awards
- Simplified structure of Schedules
AIAC in its relentless drive towards progress, has followed suit with these new improvements. These sophisticated developments aim to exclude previous inconsistencies, balance the Centre’s “light-touch” approach in arbitrations with more cost and time effective procedural mechanisms and improve the overall quality of arbitrations. These rules are kept under constant revision to ensure relevance with commercial practicalities and expectations. Pursuant to that, 2018 brings several changes and amendments in line with the Centre’s need to keep up with international best practices and the rapidly evolving nature of the arbitration regime. With the new set of Rules, AIAC is set to provide better service to the stakeholders whilst remaining competitive and efficient.
The AIAC not only administers commercial arbitration but also offers its state of the art facilities for investment arbitrations. The International Centre for Settlement of Investments Disputes which is based in Washington (“ICSID”) has been AIAC’s long standing partner in efforts devoted to international investment dispute settlement. AIAC is also an administrating authority under the 2009 ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement. AIAC also provides its facilities to the Permanent Court of Arbitration which is one of the leading dispute resolution service providers in the world.
The first collaboration agreement between AIAC and ICSID was signed in 1979. This partnership was further strengthened by a new agreement that was signed in 2014 recognizing the AIAC as an alternative hearing venue for ICSID cases. This is a particularly significant recognition since ICSID has extensive experience in this field, having administered the majority of all international investment cases and States have agreed on ICSID as a forum for investor-State dispute settlement in most international investment treaties and in numerous investment laws and contracts.
The ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement is ASEAN’s instrument to create a free and open investment regime/environment in the context of an integrated economic community. It is a multilateral investment treaty between member States of ASEAN comprising Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, and serves as ASEAN’s response to increase global competition and enhance the attractiveness of ASEAN as a single investment destination. Section B of the Agreement provides for the resolution of investment disputes between an investor and a member State. Article 33 of Section B of the Agreement allows for such disputes to be referred to the AIAC.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) signed a Host Country Agreement with Malaysia on 5th February 2017. The PCA, established in 1899, is an intergovernmental organization that facilitates arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution, particularly for disputes involving a State party. PCA's Malaysian office will be based in the AIAC's state of the art facilities, Bangunan Sulaiman.