On 2 July 2012, the latest version of the KLRCA Arbitration Rules (the “Rules”) will come into force. The Rules update the KLRCA Arbitration Rules 2010 and follow on the heels of the Arbitration Amendment Act 2011 which sought to enhance and emphasise the Malaysian courts’ non-interventionist and pro-enforcement stance in international arbitration.
In particular section 8 of the Act was specifically amended to explicitly state that the courts are entitled to intervene only in situations expressly provided for by the Act. Previously, it had been worded more vaguely as “[u]nless otherwise provided, no court shall intervene in any of the matters governed by this Act“.
A copy of the Rules can be found here. Some of the more pertinent revisions are as follows.
A new Rule 2 now specifies the information, documents and fee required to register an arbitration with the KLRCA. Previously, the Rules only required that the party commencing the arbitration copy the notice of arbitration to KLRCA. It was then left to the KLRCA to follow-up and request further information.
The aim of this revision is to reduce the time usually taken by the initiating party in submitting the necessary documentation for the KLRCA’s verification.
The time for the appointment of arbitrators has been reduced to 30 days in line with the requirements under the Malaysian Arbitration Act 2005.
A new Rule 5 now provide for challenges to arbitrators. Such challenges will be administered by the KLRCA and the Director will determine those challenges.
Parties and the arbitral tribunal have 30 days to agree on a schedule of fees from the time of the appointment of the tribunal and to inform the KLRCA of such, failing which the KLRCA Schedule of Fees shall apply.
The Rules will automatically apply to all arbitrations commenced under the KLRCA after 2 July 2012 unless parties stipulate otherwise.