Other Forms of Arbitration
In addition to the provisions enshrined under the SCCA Rules which concern general arbitration proceedings, the latter also forms the basis for other forms of arbitrations, including expedited, emergency, and online proceedings. Provisions relating to the form and manner of conducting such proceedings have been enumerated in the Appendices III – IV of the SCCA Rules.
Expedited Procedure Rules
The Expedited Procedure Rules, as provided under Appendix III of the SCCA Rules, shall apply to matters where the claim does not exceed SAR 4,00,000, or in cases where the parties enter into an agreement to the effect of its applicability to the dispute. However, where, by way of amendment, the Party submits a claim which exceeds the aforementioned limit, Article 5 of the Expedited Rules provides that the arbitration shall continue to be governed by the Rules, unless the parties agree to be governed by the SCCA Rules.
In terms of the difference in filing procedures, Article 2 of the Expedited Rules, state that the Claimant will be obliged to serve a copy of the request for arbitration to the Respondent at a time concurrent to the filing and both the Request and the Answer shall contain a detailed set of facts, claims, defenses, as well as the supporting evidence.
It is needful to note that as per these Rules, the arbitration is to be conducted by a Sole Arbitrator, who may be nominated by the Parties within the time frame fixed by the Administrator.
The Power to apply for emergency arbitration flows from Article 7 of the SCCA Rules, 2023, according to which the party applying for emergency measures of protection shall transmit a written application with all requisite details and documents including the reasons for requesting emergency measures.
Article 1 of Appendix III further specifies that the party shall serve the Respondents with a copy of the request at the time of filing. No application for emergency arbitration will be entertained in a circumstance where the application was submitted after the constitution of the tribunal, or where the parties agree to either opt out of the emergency arbitration proceedings or to adopt another pre-arbitral procedure.
Online Dispute Resolution Procedures
The ODR mechanisms in SCCA were initially introduced in the year 2018, and have been revamped in the SCCA Rules, 2023. Unlike the Expedited Rules, provisions relating to the ODR Procedures may apply in addition to those enshrined under the SCCA Rules, in cases where there is no conflict. However, where the latter issue arises, ODR Rules shall take precedence.
The Respondent shall transmit the answer to the request for arbitration within a period of 10 days from the commencement of arbitration. In line with the Expedited Rules, the ODR Procedures also allow the appointment of a Sole Arbitrator for adjudication of disputes, while the place of arbitration has been fixed as Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, unless the parties agree otherwise.
A mere perusal of the provisions pertaining to the time limits and other procedures may provide a reasonable inference to the fact that the ODR rules have been designed to promote a speedy adjudication of arbitration, while maintaining the value of accessibility to parties.