The new VIAC Rules of Arbitration 2017

14/03/2017 09:03

“VIAC 2017 Rules of Arbitral Proceedings are the first arbitration code of Vietnam introduced to meet legislative changes stated in Resolution 01/2014/ HDTP/TANDTC dated March 22, 2014 on inclusion of legal relations in general settlement of a dispute.”

This new point was introduced by Mr Phan Trong Dat, Deputy Secretary General of the Vietnam International Arbitration Centre (VIAC) and Member of the London Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb), at the announcement ceremony of the VIAC 2017 Rules of Arbitral Proceedings in Hanoi.

Mr Tran Huu Huynh, Chairman of VIAC, said, Vietnam’s economic reform is very urgent and drastic. The government affirmed to work as an enabling, honest and acting government. He said that the economic reform will be slowed down if there is no justice. For example, the Government Resolution 19 in 2014 did not have a passage referring to the judicial reform, that is to say, there is no role of the court and the procuracy. But, Resolution 19 in 2017 referred to the Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuracy in a bid to accelerate the judicial reform. The addition of new actors in Resolution 19 in 2017 showed that the government has understood the necessity of combining economic reform with judicial reform.

“During the past 20 years, VIAC has always accompanied VCCI and the Vietnamese business community, listened to opinions from businesses, lawyers and authorities to improve and fulfil all tasks in the spirit of transparency - completeness - efficiency.

Among thousands of cases settled and hundreds of cases tried, VIAC has not had any signs of harassment from VIAC Secretariat or corruption from arbitrators,” Mr Huynh said.

Mr Phan Trong Dat said that the new highlighted point in the VIAC 2017 Rules of Arbitral Proceedings is Article 6: Disputes from contracts, Article 15: Inclusion of multiple disputes into one dispute, and Article 37: Expedited procedure.

He said, with new provisions of Article 6 and Article 15, disputes arising from multiple legal relations may be included into one dispute for resolution in accordance with provisions of the law, helping save 15 - 37 per cent of arbitration costs, minimise the time involved in cases for parties concerned (previously they have to engage in similar individual lawsuits but now they just join one combined case), thus saving additional costs of hiring lawyers, travel expenses and other costs for businesses.

Both Article 6 and Article 15 will help many enterprises combine multiple disputes into one case, hence reducing unnecessary costs such as time and expense of following a legal action. For example, in construction, insurance and finance, where a lot of legal relations are interrelated, the inclusion will help find out the legal nature of the matter for resolution.

The time of dispute resolution is always one of bright spots in dispute settlement at VIAC. In 2016, VIAC continued to maintain an average settlement resolution time of 153.6 days per dispute. In the VIAC 2017 Rules of Arbitral Proceedings, VIAC added Expedited Procedure in Article 37.

The Expedited Procedure states that “Any dispute arising from or relating to this contract shall be settled by arbitration at the Vietnam International Arbitration Centre (VIAC) according to VIAC arbitration rules. Parties concerned agreed that arbitral proceedings will be conducted under Expedited Procedure stipulated in Article 37 of the VIAC Rules of Arbitral Proceedings.”

He added that Expedited Procedure is likely to further shorten the time of dispute resolution at VIAC, especially cases involving simple facts and simple evidences, like disputes in banking, finance, insurance and commodity trading.

According to the new Rules on Arbitration Council consisting of only one arbitrator, the Centre or Council may shorten any specified term. The Arbitration Council bases on documents and evidences available to summon hearings to resolve disputes without the presence of the parties.

“With arbitrators expert in most trade-related fields and a professional, experienced Secretariat, VIAC is confident to operate the Expedited Procedure to quickly resolve disputes while ensuring the quality of the process,” Mr Dat said.

The VIAC 2017 Rules of Arbitral Proceedings will officially be effective on March 1, 2017.

Quynh Anh - Vietnam Business Forum

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