About an Emergency Arbitrator
In some disputes it may be important for a party with a claim on the other party to be able to secure that assets or important documents are preserved. A means to accomplish this is interim measures. Examples of interim measures are orders to maintain or restore the status quo, orders to take action or refrain from taking action and orders to preserve evidence pending determination of the dispute.
Under the 2007 SCC Rules and the previous versions of the SCC Rules, a party to an arbitration agreement could not request interim measures until the case had been referred to the Arbitral Tribunal or a Sole Arbitrator, which in average takes 3-4 months in international arbitrations. During this time the status of things may change substantially and it cannot be taken for granted that the disputed assets will remain at the time of referral.
Although the SCC Rules do not prevent a party to request an interim measure in a court of law, it must be recognized that parties that have agreed on arbitration often are hesitant to go to court, often in a foreign jurisdiction. Thus, there is a need to provide parties with the option of having such a decision available as part of the arbitration also before the case has been referred to an Arbitral Tribunal or a Sole Arbitrator.
The result of the SCC 2008 User Survey support the need for such rules; 82 per cent of counsel in SCC Arbitrations are of the opinion that interim measures ought to be available already when arbitration is commenced.
With the aim to over bridge the gap described above, the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce has adopted rules
giving the parties the option of requesting that an Emergency Arbitrator with authority to order interim measures before the case is referred to an Arbitral Tribunal or a Sole Arbitrator. The rules entered into force on 1 January 2010.