Young ICCA, the network for young practitioners and students functioning under the auspices of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA), has just launched the ‘Young ICCA Guide on Arbitral Secretaries’.
Arbitral secretaries are essential for the success of arbitration proceedings. However, the nature and degree of assistance they provide varies widely. They basically ensure that the arbitration proceedings run as smoothly as possible. They make sure that the arbitral tribunal is appointed, that advance payments are made in respect of the fees and expenses of the arbitrators, that time limits are kept in mind, and so on and so forth. If the arbitration is not managed in this way, the work of administration will have to be undertaken by the arbitral tribunal itself, by a registrar or tribunal secretary appointed by the tribunal for that purpose. It is common practice for international arbitration tribunals to appoint secretaries, in most instances with the consent of all parties to the arbitration, to facilitate the smooth and efficient functioning of large and complex arbitrations.
Acknowledging the potential benefits in efficiency and cost savings that an arbitral secretary can bring to the arbitral process, this report examines the use of arbitral secretaries and advance a more transparent and robust approach to the role of secretaries in arbitration. It discusses the best practices for the appointment and use of arbitral secretaries and offers a model plug-in regarding the appointment and use of arbitral secretaries. This is, undoubtedly, an interesting effort to understand the decisive role played by administrative staff in modern arbitration proceedings.