The Cross-Institutional Task Force on Gender Diversity in Arbitral Appointments and Proceedings is pleased to announce the release of its Report, the eighth volume of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) Reports Series.

This Cross-Institutional Task Force, assembled in 2019, brings together representatives of 17 leading international arbitration institutions, law firms and gender diversity initiatives to publish and analyze recent statistics on the appointment of female arbitrators, as well as to identify opportunities and best practices to promote gender diversity in international arbitration.

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As already announced, with a heavy heart we had to cancel the GAR Live Vienna Event that was to take place on October 9, 2020 due to the pandemic. This video-message by the 3 co-chairs Stefan Riegler, Filip Boras and Alice Fremuth-Wolf will hopefully give you some hope and an outlook of what to expect in 2021.

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After the cancellation due to COVID-19 last year, the IBA-VIAC Consensual Dispute Resolution Competition (CDRC Vienna) took place for the first time this year as an online competition from July 10th to 14th, 2021; overall, the competition was held for the sixth time.

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Commonwealth countries are at risk of losing foreign investment and trade from not having modern dispute resolution systems available to their business communities.

This is one of the key messages from a major study on international commercial arbitration in the Commonwealth which has recently  been published. 

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The Singapore Convention on Mediation, signed on 7 August, 2019, entered into force on 12 September, 2020, launching a new era for international mediation.

The Singapore Agreement is a uniform and efficient framework for international settlements resulting from mediation. It facilitates international trade and commerce by enabling the disputing parties to easily enforce and invoke settlement agreements across borders. As such, the Convention provides greater assurance to businesses that mediation can be relied on and encourages companies to use mediation as an additional option to litigation and arbitration.

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We proudly announce the members of the International Advisory Board invited by the VIAC Board for the term 2020 until the end of 2022:

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We proudly announce the members of the VIAC Board for the term 2020-2022 who were appointed by the Extended Presiding Committee of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber:

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We are pleased to report on the latest initiative by the ERA Pledge, the launch of the Pledge Corporate Guidelines on 26 November 2020. The Pledge Corporate Guidelines are a set of guidelines specifically designed for corporates to use to implement the diversity aims of the Pledge. The Pledge Corporate Guidelines can be found on the ERA Pledge website.

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The third Freshfields Women's event in collaboration with the ERA Pledge took place the morning after GAR Live Vienna, in the surroundings of the 25hours Hotel rooftop terrace.

The Annual Report 2020 provides a detailed review of VIAC's various activities in the past year as well as interesting statistical details and an outlook on VIAC's new projects for 2021.

Please view the full text of the report for further details. 

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The 7th IBA-VIAC Consensual Dispute Resolution Competition Vienna will be held virtually from 10 – 14 July 2021. The Competition will close with the award ceremony on Wednesday, 14 July 2021. 

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We are delighted to share the news that the European Commission has signed up to the Arbitration Pledge in respect of its trade and investment dispute settlement activities. The Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis confirmed the European Commission's adherence to the Pledge in a letter to the founder and co-chair of the Pledge Global Steering Committee, Sylvia Noury. In its first concrete application of the principles of the Pledge, the European Commission has today launched a recruitment drive intended to attract arbitrators for State-to-State dispute settlement and experts for trade and sustainable development related disputes.

For more information on both the European Commission's commitment to gender diversity and the recruitment process, see here.

Balancing speed and quality – while controlling costs – is the central ambition of arbitral institutions. In an interactive discussion Stefano Azzali (CAM), Alice Fremuth-Wolf (VIAC), Annette Magnusson (SCC) and Francesca Mazza (DIS) shared their experiences on how to balance speed and quality in arbitral proceedings administered under their rules.

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 Celebrating its first anniversary, the IBA-VIAC Consensual Dispute Resolution Competition (CDRC Vienna) was this year held for the fifth time from 6th to 10th July 2019. For the fifth time, the collaboration of the Vienna International Arbitral Centre (VIAC) and the International Bar Association (IBA) invited students and dispute practitioners from around the world to Vienna to share their knowledge and spend a week mediating and negotiating the Vis Moot Problem. 

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Well-known arbitration and mediation practitioners have authored this new guide and commentated on the new Vienna Rules and the new Vienna Mediation Rules 2018, which came into effect on 1 January 2018. This guide provides a helpful and easily comprehensible overview over proceedings administered by the International Arbitral Centre of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (VIAC). Designed for practitioners, the guide reproduces each article entirely and provides detailed comments and background information on the amendments.

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The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) (advised by Allen & Overy LLP) has published a second edition of its Arbitration Guide (the 2018 ISDA Arbitration Guide). The document can be downloaded HERE. Further information on the updated version of the ISDA Arbitration Guide can be obtained from a memorandum prepared by Allen & Overy in London.

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GAR’s reasoning for granting this award to VIAC: The institution had a year of change and innovation in 2017, with new rules, a new secretary general and its first GAR Live event. It also started publishing the names of arbitrators on its tribunals, including an all-female panel. The awards ceremony took place in Paris on Thursday, 12 April 2018. We are so happy, proud and honored about this acknowledgement for VIAC’s achievements in the world of international arbitration.

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Following the call for more transparency in the appointment process of institutional arbitration, VIAC has decided to publish the names of arbitrators acting in current proceedings: Under the header "VIAC Arbitral Tribunals"  you will find the names of all arbitrators acting in VIAC cases where the file has already been transferred to the arbitral tribunal and which were still pending on 1 January 2017 or were filed after this date.

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On 18 June 2019, the Council for the Development of the Arbitration Process of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation recommended granting VIAC the status of a PAI (“permanent arbitration institution”) under Russia’s Federal Law on Arbitration dated 29 December 2015. As of 11 July 2019, VIAC is now officially included in the list of foreign arbitral institutions recognized as a PAI (as per order No. 845-r issued on 4 July 2019). We are the first European arbitral institution to have received a government permit. This registration is crucial in order to ensure enforcement of VIAC awards also in the future in the Russian Federation.

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In an effort to provide clarity and guidance in the wake of Covid-19, several arbitration institutions have decided to issue a joint statement. 

Please view the full text of the joint statement for further details.

CAM, DIS, SCC and VIAC have published a joint video message related to COVID-19. Have a look at the video!