The China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (“CIETAC”) Arbitration Rules 2015 (“the 2015 Rules”) has come into effect on 1 January 2015, which will apply to all CIETAC arbitrations commenced on or after 1 January 2015. For arbitration proceedings commenced before 1 January 2015, parties may also agree to adopt the 2015 Rules.
One of the highlights of the new 2015 Rules is the introduction of emergency arbitrators under Art.23, which is in line with s.22B of Hong Kong’s Arbitration Ordinance. S.22B provides that any emergency relief granted, whether in or outside Hong Kong, by an emergency arbitrator is enforceable in the same manner as a court order with leave of the court. Such emergency relief may include:-
- Interim injunction to prevent actions which are likely to cause harm or prejudice to the arbitral process;
- Relief for preservation of assets;
- Security for costs of the arbitration, etc.
Another highlight of the 2015 Rules is that provisions which address multi-party disputes are introduced. Article 18 enables a party to file a request for joinder with CIETAC to join an additional party to the arbitration proceedings, and a decision shall be made by CIETAC after hearing submissions from all parties. CIETAC may also consolidate two or more arbitrations into a single arbitration under certain conditions stipulated in Article 19.