Justice delayed is justice denied.
On the one hand the parties’ rights have to be very carefully respected. On the other hand, the Arbitrator needs enough time to make a thoughtful decision.
The Rules of the European Court of Arbitration provide what follows.
Recommendation to decide early matters/amounts which are not disputed or which are manifestly due;
Request to identify and decide at the beginning of the proceedings, any question of fact or law that could narrow or simplify the dispute;
Setting-up a calendar for the proceedings by the arbitrator
Request to the Parties to commit themselves to avoid useless or ungrounded oppositions, delaying or obstructive behaviour and to accept sanctions for not complying with such commitment
The European Court of Arbitration considers 9 months to be sufficient to decide adequately an international arbitral proceeding
If, due to extraordinary circumstances, the Arbitrator files a well-reasoned request for a time extension, the Court may grant a maximum of two 6 months postponements.
A preliminary meeting is provided for to open a dialogue with the parties, to understand their expectations and to select, with their consensus if possible, the sole arbitrator or at least the selection criteria;
The respect of the rights of the parties to prove their case in line with CEA’s rules of evidence is fundamental;
There is no need to notify in advance the questions to be put to the witnesses;
The parties’ right to examine and cross-examine witnesses is to be respected.
A Pragmatic Approach
The European Court of Arbitration requests that the arbitrator does not remain distant from the parties, but creates a dialogue with them, with the objective to clarify their allegations and submissions.
The rule that a sole arbitrator be appointed does not exclude that the parties, even if warned of the related negative aspects, provide for three arbitrators.
Each party is requested to accept the right of the other party to apply for an ex parte summary judgment to recover the share of costs and fees of the arbitration proceedings due by the opposite party,not paid by it and advanced by the other party.
The Court appoints a sole arbitrator what stresses neutrality and allows a sensible reduction of arbitration fees by 2/3