Emergency Arbitration

Most arbitration rules provide for interim or preliminary arbitration where a party can seek a rapid preliminary, but usually interim order in a dispute otherwise subject to arbitration. The parties may have to decided to opt-in or opt-out of emergency arbitration provisions in the arbitration clause. From time to time the availability of emergency arbitration is only for arbitration agreements agreed after the an emergency arbitration rule was adopted, e.g., the International Chamber of Commerce requires the arbitration agreement to be after the 1st of January 2012. Usually the arbitration body will offer an emergency arbitrator.

The main advantage of an emergency arbitration is that it can allow work on contracts or under licenses to progress, even though there is a dispute between certain parties and thus limit consequential losses from a project shut-down. They can be common, for example, in large construction and infrastructure projects or complex supply chains. Usually the subsequent arbitrator or arbitral tribunal are not bound by the decision or decisions made by the emergency arbitrator and may decide that the emergency decision was in fact incorrect. Emergency arbitration rules usually require the applicant for emergency relief to start an actual full-form arbitration under the main arbitration agreement within a set period of time.

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