WORKING GROUP II: Dispute Settlement

The Mandate

Mandate

Working Group II is presently mandated to address issues of international commercial law which touch on arbitration and conciliation (or more simply, dispute settlement). 

Specifically, the Working Group has been mandated to work on the topic of enforcement of settlement agreements, to identify relevant issues and develop possible solutions, including the preparation of conventions, model provisions or guidance texts which relate to developments in arbitration and conciliation and dispute settlement.

In the past, the mandate of Working Group II has included:

Mediation

Between 2015-2018, Working Group II focused on drafting instruments which enable the enforcement of international commercial settlement agreements resulting from mediation and to advance mediation practice generally. In particular, the Working Group aimed to update the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Mediation and International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation, and to craft a convention which would better ensure the enforcement of mediated settlement agreements.

Each of these goals were realised in 2018 when the General Assembly endorsed both the Working Group's amendments to the Model Law, and its finalised Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation. The latter was opened for signature on 7 August 2019 in Singapore, and has thus been dubbed the "Singapore Convention on Mediation". 

Arbitration

More recently, WG II has turned its attention to improving the efficiency of arbitral proceedings, with the aim of reducing the costs and duration of such proceedings through the establishment of streamlined and simplified procedures with shortened time frames. Particular beneficiaries of this endeavour are expected to be micro, small and medium-sized enterprises which are oftentimes otherwise priced-out of arbitral proceedings. 

This project, presently known as the "expedited arbitration provisions" may have some linkage to the existing UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, though the final product may take another form, such as model clauses and guidelines. As at the 71st session (February, 2020), the Working Group was primarily occupied with deliberating substantial details of the forthcoming expedited arbitration provisions, including general considerations such as the preservation of due process and fairness, as well as specific provisions concerning matters such as the number of arbitrators, their appointment, the taking of evidence, etc. Details of the deliberations of the 71st session are available here, and a useful collation of the associated provisions are available here.

Further Information

As with other Working Groups, WG II maintains an online record of its latest work and agendas for forthcoming meetings. The relevant information is available here.

This page was last updated in September 2020.

 
 
 
 

What's next?

The forefront of WG IIs work can be gleaned from its latest reports from its 71st and 72nd meetings, which took place in 2020. The official UNCITRAL reports from each of these sessions are available below:

The next Working Group II meetings are scheduled as follows:

8-12 February 2021 - New York, USA

27 September - 1 October 2021 (Tentative) - Vienna, Austria

 

UNCCA Resources

UNCCA has been closely involved in reporting on Working Group II's deliberations and progress in the past years, and has had the privilege of sending delegates to be part of the 70th and 71st sessions in 2019 and 2020 respectively. 

Reports produced by UNCCA members are accessible below, and may be more reader-friendly than the official UNCITRAL reports, for example. Click the buttons to download the files:

 

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