1. What is the importance of IIAM Arbitration Rules?
The IIAM Arbitration Rules are a set of procedural rules covering all aspects of the institutional arbitration process, which the parties may agree to in part or in whole in order to help resolve their domestic or international disputes. The IIAM Arbitration Rules adopts the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules 2010, which enables the IIAM Rules to administer arbitration at accepted global standards.

IIAM provides administrative assistance to the arbitral tribunal and parties by making available facilities, through the appointment of arbitrators, by getting involved in resolving procedural issues, acting as the registry and by providing a reasonable fixed schedule of fees, thereby ensuring smooth progress of the arbitral process in a efficient and time bound manner. IIAM Rules also provide for methods for expedited and innovative procedures like, Emergency Arbitrator, Arb-Med-Arb Procedure, Fast-track procedure, Consolidation of proceedings and Concurrent hearings, Scrutiny of award etc., which would ensure fast, economic and efficient disputes resolution process. IIAM’s roles and functions are identified in Part-I of the Rules. The IIAM Arbitration Rules incorporates the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules which are comprehensive, time-tested and internationally accepted.

The details of institutions globally which has adopted UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules 2010 is available at the UNCITRAL Website - Click here. For updated information of the Status of UNCITRAL conventions and model laws, see the Secretariat Note dated 17 May 2016 published by the UNCITRAL (At page 26, IIAM Rules are mentioned)

2. Where can I find the model arbitration clause under the IIAM Arbitration Rules?
Parties who wish to have arbitration under the IIAM Arbitration Rules may incorporate the IIAM model clause in their agreement. The model clause can be found under Schedule-7 of the Rules or in the official IIAM website.

3. What do I do if I do not have a model arbitration clause in my agreement?
If both parties are agreeable that the dispute can be resolved according to the IIAM Arbitration Rules, but there is no arbitration clause in their original agreement; then they may enter into an arbitration agreement in the form as specified in Schedule-8 of the Rules.

4. Why do the IIAM Arbitration Rules have Part I and Part II? Which part is applicable to the arbitration?
The IIAM Arbitration Rules has two Parts. Part I specifies IIAM Arbitration Rules and Part II specifies the UNCITRAL Rules. Modifications to the UNCITRAL Rules however appear under Part I of the Rules. Thus for IIAM Institutional Arbitration, Part II of the Rules shall be read subject to Part I of the Rules.

5. What type of disputes can be resolved by arbitration under the IIAM Arbitration Rules?
Any civil, commercial, contractual or business disputes can generally be resolved through arbitration. As per general practice, matters involving moral questions or questions of public law cannot be resolved by arbitration. For instance, the following matters cannot be referred to arbitration:
♦ Matrimonial matters, like divorce or maintenance;
♦ Insolvency matters, like declaring a person as an insolvent;
♦ Criminal offences;
♦ Dissolution or winding up of a company.

6. How do I begin a matter under the IIAM Arbitration Rules?
It is very simple. A party initiating the dispute shall be required to submit the Arbitration Submission Form (Form No. 103), available in Schedule-10, to IIAM together with a copy of the Notice of Arbitration served on the Respondent in the manner required under Rule 2 of Part-I, along with the Registration fees.

7. How much will it cost to arbitrate under the IIAM Arbitration Rules?
IIAM Arbitration is very cost-effective, especially considering the time-bound manner in which the dispute is resolved and the effective administrative services offered for ensuring smooth the progression of the proceedings. The costs and expenses of arbitration will be governed by the IIAM Arbitration Fee Schedule. The current fee schedule of IIAM, mentioned in Schedule-9, shall be notified by IIAM from time to time or published in its official web site. Appendix-1, provide the fee schedule for domestic arbitration (for Claims more than Rs. 5 lakhs), Appendix-2 for small cause domestic arbitration (for Claims less than Rs. 5 lakhs), Appendix-3 for international arbitration, Appendix-4 for emergency arbitrator (for interim measures and AMA Procedure) and Appendix-5 for miscellaneous charges.

8. How are arbitrators appointed under the IIAM Arbitration Rules?
The arbitrator appointment under the IIAM Rules, assure that the arbitral tribunal is formed at the earliest, and confirms that the arbitral tribunal is neutral and efficient on international standards. In an unlikely case of any doubts, the parties are able to challenge the arbitrator and effective provisions are made in the Rules to address such challenge.

9. Are arbitration proceedings confidential in nature?
Yes. Arbitration under the IIAM Arbitration Rules is private and confidential. As per Rule 20, the arbitral tribunal, the parties and the IIAM shall keep confidential all matters relating to the arbitral proceedings. Article 28 of the IIAM Arbitration Rules specifies that hearings shall be held in camera unless the parties agree otherwise.

10. Are parties restricted to appointing arbitrators from IIAM Panel of Arbitrators when arbitrating under the IIAM Arbitration Rules?
No. There are no restrictions imposed and parties are free to appoint arbitrators of their choice. The parties and the arbitral tribunal can also agree upon a different arbitrator fee other than under the IIAM Fee Schedule as under Rule 18(3)

11. How long does the entire arbitration proceedings take?
A regular arbitration under the IIAM Rules would be completed within 9 months from the date of appointment of the arbitral tribunal. The award would be rendered within 45 days. Under the fast-track procedure, the entire arbitration gets over within 6 months.

12. How does a party apply for an Emergency Arbitrator?
The provision for the appointment of emergency arbitrators is found under Schedule-1. Rule 9 and Schedule-1 allows the party in need of emergency interim relief to make such application along with EA Submission Form (Form 104) and the said application can be made concurrently with or after the filing of the Arbitration Submission Form, but not after the constitution of the arbitral tribunal.

13. What are the powers of the Emergency Arbitrator?
The emergency arbitrator shall act to determine all applications for emergency interim relief until the constitution of the proper arbitral tribunal. Emergency interim relief order or award granted by an emergency arbitrator shall have a binding effect on the parties (Refer Schedule-1).

14. How can a party invoke AMA Procedure?
The AMA or the Arb-Med-Arb Procedure under the IIAM Rules, is an effective way by which the party can invoke arbitration and simultaneously try to resolve the dispute through mediation and if successful, make the outcome as an arbitral award or in case of failure of mediation, continue with arbitration. The Party can initiate AMA Procedure by filing the EA Submission Form (Form 104) along with an application for the said purpose. The AMA procedure helps to save time and also helps to make mediation settlement binding, especially in international disputes, as the mediation settlement would become enforceable under the New York Convention.

15. What is the advantage of scrutiny of award?
This is a unique feature of the IIAM Arbitration Rules, which affords an opportunity for the parties to get a second opinion about the legality of the process so as to make sure that the award does not suffer any irregularity making it vulnerable to a challenge. This is especially useful, when the arbitral tribunal consists of technical arbitrators, who may not be experts in the field of law. This is not an appeal provision and the Scrutiny Board will not have any authority to interfere with the arbitral tribunal’s decision making liberty.

16. What is the importance of IIAM Mediation Rules?
The IIAM Mediation Rules are a set of procedural rules covering all aspects of the institutional mediation process, which helps the parties and mediators to take maximum advantage of the flexible procedures available in mediation for the resolution of disputes quickly and economically. The IIAM Mediation Rules also contains the IIAM Mediators’ Code of Professional Conduct and IIAM Mediators’ Conduct Assessment Process, adopted based on the Code prescribed by the International Mediation Institute, The Hague.

17. What is mediation? How it is different from litigation and what is the advantage?
Mediation is a settlement effort, which utilizes the services of an impartial, third party mediator in an effort to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. Mediation provides an efficient, effective, speedy, convenient and less expensive process to resolve disputes with dignity, mutuality, respect and civility where parties participate in arriving at a negotiated settlement rather than being confronted with a third party adjudication of their disputes. In mediation, ultimately the resolution is made by the parties and no decision is imposed on them. But in courts and other systems, the decision is taken by the Judge or Arbitrator and the decision is imposed on the parties, whether they like it or not. In mediation, since the decision is taken by both the parties, it is a “Win-Win” situation for both and they would happily comply with the decision rather than wasting time on appeals against an imposed decision. It helps to maintain ongoing relationships and resolve the dispute amicably. The very fact that it enables the parties to sit across the table and negotiate, participating in the process itself creates an atmosphere of harmony and peace.

18. What type of disputes can be resolved through mediation?
All types of civil and commercial disputes can be resolved through mediation, except certain special legislations like winding up of a company.

19. Is mediation a compromise and if I initiate mediation, will it not be considered as my weakness?
There is a general misconception that in mediation you have to compromise. In fact mediation is another dispute resolution process, just like any other one. The major difference being, it is an interest-based process, where the resolution is arrived at by the parties on a collaborative method to maximize mutual gain. Therefore, globally mediation is also referred as “Appropriate Dispute Resolution” (ADR). It is the only process which focuses on needs and relationships and seeks not only to resolve the underlying problem, but also to add value. Here, in fact dispute is considered as an opportunity. Internationally, opting for mediation is also considered as an expression of best governance and social commitment. Many MNC’s have signed the “Pledge to Mediate”, expressing their commitment to resolve dispute amicably to their potential business partners and clients.

20. What if after I initiate mediation, the other party does not turn up?
Mediation is a voluntary and non-binding process and the parties are free not to attend or leave the process at any stage, if that party is not happy with the process or outcome. But as per our experience, every invitation to attend a mediation process is normally accepted by the other party.

But even of the other party does not turn up, it is an advantage to initiate mediation first, as after the completion of mediation and on receipt of the Mediator’s Completion Report, IIAM will prepare the Mediation Status Report and this is given to the Parties. This is given even if the dispute is not resolved or the mediation could not be held due to the absence of the opposite Party. This is a valuable document when the initiating party approaches the court.

21. Can I initiate mediation in a matter pending before a court?
Mediation can be initiated at any stage. It can be initiated at the beginning of a dispute or when the matter is before a court. It would always be better to initiate mediation at the beginning, as the parties would be less hostile. In fact even the Supreme Court of India has said in a decision that mediation is the best form of dispute resolution and it should be taken at the earliest opportunity to stop the negative factor from growing and widening its fangs which may not be conducive to any of the litigants. The courts also encourage the parties to resolve their disputes through mediation. In fact if a party initiates mediation and the other side does not attend, it will create an adverse impression against the party who refused to participate in mediation.

22. Is mediation legally approved in India?
Yes. Under the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996, a settlement agreement made by the mediator after the resolution of a dispute is equivalent to an arbitral award or a decree of a civil court. If a party subsequent to the settlement fails to comply with it, the other party could get the settlement agreement executed through a court in the same manner as a court decree. Mediation and Conciliation are terms often used interchangeably and in all practical aspects, the procedure is the same.

23. How reliable and professional are the mediators?
Mediation is said to be as good as the Mediator! IIAM Accredited Mediators are trained and accredited under the International Mediation Institute (IMI - The Hague) norms. They are bound by the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards prescribed by IMI. IIAM is the first institution in India approved by the IMI to certify mediators at global standards.

24. Can we initiate mediation for the resolution of a dispute with a foreign party?
Yes. Mediation is a process internationally accepted and most of the MNC’s have started using mediation as the first option for dispute resolution. IIAM maintain a panel of domestic and international mediators and has mutual cooperation agreement with many international ADR institutions which administers mediation.

In an international dispute, a settlement agreement made through the AMA Procedure can be made as an arbitral award on consent and it becomes executable as per the New York convention in 156 countries.

25. How much will it cost to mediate under the IIAM Mediation Rules?
IIAM Mediation is very cost-effective, especially considering the time-bound manner in which the dispute is resolved. The costs and expenses of mediation will be governed by the IIAM Mediation Fee Schedule. The current fee schedule of IIAM, mentioned in Schedule-4, shall be notified by IIAM from time to time or published in its official web site. Appendix-1, provide the fee schedule for domestic mediation, Appendix-2 for international mediation and Appendix-3 for miscellaneous charges.

26. How long does the entire mediation proceedings take?
Even though as per the IIAM Mediation Rules, the mediator shall use his best endeavors to conclude the mediation within 60 days of his appointment, normally a commercial mediation gets over within 4 to 8 sessions.

27. Can we bring lawyers to represent our case in mediation?
Yes, you can. In fact mediation would become more successful and credible when the parties’ advocates or advisors are knowledgeable and skilled in the mediation process. Trained mediation advocates can bring value addition to the process and outcome. In fact, the changing role of a lawyer as a dispute resolution specialist, brining in specialist representation in mediation has raised the standard, credibility and acceptance of mediation world over.

28. How can I believe a mediator and if I have any complaint, can I change the mediator?
Trust underpins the mediation process. If the parties do not trust a mediator’s integrity in terms of competence diligence, neutrality, independence, impartiality, fairness and the ability to respect confidences, mediation is unlikely to succeed. The IIAM Mediators’ Code of Professional Conduct provides users of mediation services with a concise statement of the ethical standards they can expect from Mediators who choose to adopt its terms and sets standards that they can be expected to meet.

Users who believe the standards established in this Code have not been met may prefer a complaint to IIAM on the Mediators’ conduct Assessment or can request for a change of mediator. The Rules have been made as per the guidelines of the International Mediation Institute, The Hague (IMI). Details can be seen in the IIAM Mediation Rules.

29. What is IIAM Community Mediation?
IIAM Community Mediation Service with the motto; “Resolving conflicts; promoting harmony” is intended to contribute to the happiness and harmony of the community. The mission is to bring justice to the doorsteps of the people. People would get a platform near home to settle their cases without the trappings of a court. In Community mediation, mediation is provided by trained community mediators who represent the community. Community mediation mechanisms are viewed as an opportunity for citizens to participate in the prevention and early intervention of conflicts as an alternative to institutional mechanisms.

IIAM Community Mediation Service is provided through People’s Mediation Centres, established partnering with People’s Mediation Society, which is a peoples movement. The mediation done in PMC’s are governed by the IIAM Mediation Rules and the fee schedule is as per the IIAM CMS Fee Schedule.

30. What is the IIAM Pledge to Mediate? What are its benefits?
Recognizing that the empowerment to resolve disputes amicably and voluntarily is an expression of civil maturity, the India International ADR Association (IIADRA) in association with IIAM has formulated “Pledge to Mediate” among companies and organisations as part of promoting best governance and speedy justice.

By signing the Pledge, which is cost-free and not legally binding, the signatory makes a public, policy statement indicating its commitment to the promotion of amicable settlement of disputes. This portrays a signal to potential business partners and customers that the signatory is a mature business entity which do not drag them to unnecessary litigation and resolve disputes amicably and care for strengthened relationships and continued business opportunities.

31. What are the training programs imparted by IIAM?
The training programs at IIAM offer the opportunity to learn what is necessary to become an effective negotiator, a skillful mediator, a talented mediation adviser/advocate, an efficient arbitrator or an effective arbitration lawyer. To cater the requirements of various segments of people, IIAM conducts various training programs, to suite their convenience and need.

Mediation Training Program is a 5 day program, which helps you to become a professional mediator. Certificate in Mediation Advocacy is a 3 day program which makes you a skilled mediation advocate. Professional Certificate in Commercial Arbitration is a 2 day program which provides a solid foundation to represent in Commercial Arbitration as an Arbitrator or Arbitration Lawyer. Certificate in Business Negotiation is a 15 hour program which provides a thorough understanding of negotiation process and power.

The training programs provide participants with the opportunity to practice this structured dispute resolution process through a series of interactive presentations, role play simulations, real life case studies and discussion groups.

IIAM also provide Distance-Ed programs, which offer the facility to study ADR in a flexible way and fit it around your lifestyle. You can enroll at any time of year and you study entirely at your own pace, submitting your assignments when you are ready.

32. Are the training programs of IIAM affiliated with any University?
No. IIAM does not offer any course as such, the training programs on arbitration, mediation and negotiation imparted by IIAM is meant for giving hands-on training and experience to make you a competitive ADR professional.

IIAM is the first institution in India approved by the International Mediation Institute (IMI) at the Hague, Netherlands, as a “Qualifying Assessment Programme” (QAP) for IMI Certification for international mediators. This is based on programs whose mediator training and assessment assertedly provides assurance of mediation experience and expertise worthy of IMI certification.

We have had an amazing experience since we began our various training programs on ADR. Being one of the pioneer institutions in India training professionals on mediation, arbitration and negotiation, we have received loads of testimonials, feedback and suggestions. You can see some of the testimonials here.