Can a contract be formed simultaneously in more than one jurisdiction?

By Simon Hems

Two years after it published the new Arbitration Rules, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has now published its new Mediation Rules, which took effect on 1 January 2014. The rules replace the old ICC ADR rules that had been in force since 2001.

Like their predecessor, the rules aim to facilitate the amicable settlement of disputes with the aid of a neutral third party, albeit that now the primary focus is on mediation as the preferred dispute resolution technique. This reflects the fact that more than 90 per cent of cases filed with the ICC since 2001 have reverted to this method. That said, the rules still allow parties to use other forms of dispute resolution, such as conciliation or neutral evaluation, if they prefer.

While the majority of changes effected are largely stylistic, it is notable that the rules are now exclusively administered by the ICC’s International Centre for ADR. This is a standalone administrative body within the ICC, which now enjoys a strengthened role in the dispute resolution process. Its role includes, in the absence of contrary agreement between the parties, determining both the language and location of the mediation (article 4) as well as the appointment of a mediator (article 5)…

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