In response to calls for greater transparency and efficiency in arbitration, the ICC International Court of Arbitration has introduced a number of significant reforms intended to allow users to become better informed and to accelerate the arbitration process.

In order to make the process more transparent, the ICC Court has started publishing information about arbitrators sitting in ICC cases; providing parties who so request with the reasons for its decisions on the challenge and replacement of arbitrators, and on its prima facie assessment of jurisdiction and case consolidation; setting out the costs payable at the different stages of an arbitration; keeping parties informed of the progress of an award through the scrutiny process; and alerting parties to the kinds of situations of which they should be mindful when disclosing conflicts of interest.

Reforms aimed at increasing efficiency include reducing fees to penalise delay and increasing them to reward rapidity; clearly setting forth the time limits within which awards should be drafted and scrutinised; accepting that awards may be signed in counterparts and notified in digital form; and highlighting the ancillary services ICC offers to facilitate the conduct of cases. This article describes how and why these reforms have been introduced and presents the document that explains their implementation, the Note to Parties and Arbitral Tribunals on the Conduct of the Arbitration, which has become an indispensable accompaniment to the ICC Arbitration Rules. Together, these reforms are aimed at providing a service that is clear, predictable, accessible, and inspires user confidence.