In 2015 ICC published revised Dispute Board Rules. This was the first revision since the Rules were introduced in 2004 and it reflects experience acquired over the past ten years.

The role of a Dispute Board (DB) is not simply to make decisions intended to resolve disputes, but to accompany and monitor the performance of a contract so as to be able to identify differences and disagreements as they emerge between the parties and before they mature into disputes, and then to intervene to help avoid them or resolve them informally.

In this article, three members of the committee that drafted the revised Rules, who are all experienced DB practitioners, describe and explain the principal changes that were made in the revision. While the concept and nature of DB proceedings have not changed, the new Rules, among other things, lay greater emphasis than before on dispute avoidance, strengthen the obligations of parties to comply with DB recommendations and decisions, and clarify the nature and purpose of the cost elements in DB proceedings.

The article also includes illustrations of procedural difficulties encountered in practice, recalls the importance of complying with the spirit and the letter of the Rules, and offers recommendations on measures to ensure the success of a Dispute Board, such as the careful selection of DB members, the participation of project staff in DB proceedings, and use of the intentional flexibility of the Rules.