The National Commercial Arbitration Centre (NCAC) of Cambodia is in the process of reviewing and amending its current arbitration rules, which have been implemented since 2014, to better serve the needs of businesses.
The reform will take into account NCAC’s experiences in case administration and relatively recent developments in international arbitration, as well as adopting international best practices. The process is expected to be completed next year.
To this end, the NCAC has established an internal working group to embark on drafting the new edition of the rules, according to an announcement, accepting input from experienced professionals is crucial for NCAC to improve the rules.
“We will consult widely with NCAC users, arbitrators, arbitration professionals in Cambodia and from other jurisdictions where arbitration is highly developed. We also invite comments from all those interested in NCAC’s work,” the announcement read.
Bun Youdy, president of the NCAC, said that the current NCAC arbitration rules are largely inspired by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) Arbitral Rules version 2013.
He said as of today, 19 cases had been referred to and administered by the NCAC with the total amount of claims reaching more than $70 million. He said 10 cases of the total 19 have already been resolved.
The disputes handled by the NCAC are of a commercial nature covering various sectors of the economy such as construction, real estate, joint-ventures, finance and banking, as well as domestic and international trade, according to Youdy.
He said the amendment of its current arbitration rules is to comply with changes in the international arbitration scene, which has evolved in many respects. Recently many centres have introduced new best practices in order to keep up with the demand of users and business communities.
“At the NCAC, we have been monitoring closely such developments and the commencement of this reform process is just a part of our mission to enhance our users’ experience with access to world-class rules. As always, we will also take into account the local context as well,” he said, adding that, therefore, arbitration rules reform is an exercise that each arbitration centre regularly conducts to stay up-to-date with all changes and developments in international
He said that arbitration rules are effectively procedures to be followed in proceedings but each centre has its own guidelines.
Over the past three years, both at global and regional levels, many arbitration centres have updated their arbitration rules, Youdy said.
He said the NCAC is always committed to internationalism and aims to be on a par with other leading arbitration centres.
“The NCAC is expected to attract more domestic and foreign arbitration users and offer greater efficiency and flexibility in the arbitration proceedings conducted in Cambodia under the NCAC arbitration rules,” he said.
According to Youdy, there are some topics that are part of the new developments in commercial
arbitration: emergency arbitration, third-party funding, protocol on video conferencing, cross-institutional consolidation of arbitration cases, early determination of arbitration cases and, recently, online hearings caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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