2018 for the International Commercial Arbitration Court at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Ukraine (ICAC) was both interesting and tough, taking into account several factors. Firstly, as part of the judicial reform, new editions of the Civil Procedure and Economic Procedure Codes of Ukraine came into effect. The amendments to these Codes and namely the strengthening of contributing function and enforcing arbitration decisions by courts as well as expanding the ICAC jurisdictional possibilities, put Ukraine at the same level as advanced pro-arbitration countries of the world. Secondly, on 1 January 2018, the new ICAC Rules came into effect, the novelties of which are intended to make arbitration a faster, more comfortable and efficient way to solve disputes for the parties.
On 19 February 2019 Mykola Selivon, President of the ICAC, presented a Report on key aspects of the institute’s activities in 2018. According to the President of the Court: “The role of arbitration as a way of solving disputes is constantly increasing. It is becoming, perhaps, the main way to solve disputes between businesses that are located in different states.”
Thus, from January 1 to December 31, 2018 ICAC registered 286 foreign economic disputes, 198 disputes were considered. The President of the institution noted that the ICAC is popular not only in the local community, but also worldwide. In 2018 the parties to the ICAC proceedings were users from 54 countries, including 44 countries from abroad and 9 countries of the CIS. The relevance of the Ukrainian arbitration institution is ensured by many benefits, in particular, the conventionally fast and effective consideration of cases – this year more than 95% of cases were considered faster than in half a year, as well as a low percentage of awards’ challenging – on average, about 4% of considered cases undergo the procedure of annulment of the arbitration award. At the same time, the average number of canceled awards does not exceed 1%. “We are proud of the fact that, there are no canceled awards to the cases which were considered in 2018”,– told Mr. Selivon.
Another important event for the ICAC in 2018 was the approval of the renewed List of recommended arbitrators, which currently includes 125 respectful scientists and practitioners from 35 countries of the world with 59% of foreign arbitrators . For the first time, the arbitrators from Australia, Italy and United Arab Emirates were included to the ICAC list of the recommended arbitrators.
The ICAC presented the industries that use arbitration as a way of dispute resolution most actively. Thus, the largest number of cases (21.3%) comes from the companies in the field of metallurgy, on the second place is the food industry (16.8%), the third went to the agricultural complex (13.3%). According to the number of cases, machine building, energy, woodworking, light industry and chemical industry are among the leading industries as well.
The President of the Court informed on the ICAC activityin the promotion of arbitration, in particular through educational events in Kyiv and regions of Ukraine.
In the framework of the presentation of the institution’s activities,Mr. Selivon highlighted the renewed Rules of the ICAC, noting that the content of the new Rules stands for the leading international standards, and mentioned, in particular, its positive features, such as the establishment of clear requirements for a claim, an appeal, the order of involving witnesses and experts, and provision of evidence, introducing the stage of decision-making. Mr. Selivon emphasized one of the most controversial novelty in the Rules: “We are proud that in the past year we did not make any amendments to the ICAC awards, because of carrying out the preliminary decision-by-form check. It was a controversial point, but now everyone has realized that this was a procedure that did not affect the independence of the arbitrators but is aimed at correcting mistakes or arithmetic errors.”
In 2018, ICAC actively promoted arbitration among Ukrainians and promoted Ukraine as the pro-arbitration country.