SCC board appointed 49% women as arbitrators
The SCC statistics for 2021 reflect the state of the business community during the second year of the Covid-19 crisis. The length of SCC arbitrations from referral to award remained short despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, and a highlight includes a successful result of the efforts of the SCC to promote equality in arbitration.
The ongoing war in Ukraine has triggered a state of shock around the world and has not only disrupted the lives of millions and the day-to-day business activities in the region but has brought with it increased uncertainty and challenged all our views on the state of the world as we knew it. In light of these events, the SCC statistics from 2021, may not be priority news, but nevertheless the statistics are an important reflection of global developments.
Another year of hardships for the business community
The SCC statistics for 2021 show that the second year of the pandemic has impacted on the number of commercial disputes administered by the SCC. Businesses around the world have had to deal with reduced order intake, paused business projects, delivery delays and much more. The number of disputes at the SCC decreased in comparison with the historic high number in 2020.
– A crisis tends to set off a rise in the number of disputes initially, followed by a period of financial restraint and the prioritization of core operations and cost savings. The current situation in Europe brings new unexpected hardships and challenges to the business community, why it is difficult to predict whether or not earlier unresolved disputes will be put forward to arbitration during 2022, says Secretary General Kristin Campbell-Wilson.
In recent years, the SCC has seen an increase in parties using third-party funding.
– This is an interesting trend. In the wake of the pandemic, this way of financing arbitration might become more commonly used. We also believe that our new dispute resolution tool, the SCC Express, is a relevant tool for companies that seek a quick solution to a legal disagreement in an ongoing business relationship. SCC Express provides the parties with an independent assessment of a dispute in three weeks and for a fixed fee. This is a dispute resolution option suited for parties that are willing to accept a more streamlined process in favour of time and cost-efficiency.
Time for rendering the final award steady
The statistics also show that the time required for rendering an award in SCC arbitrations were shortened last year, which is an interesting development.
– The investments made a few years ago in a case management platform for the communication between the parties, the tribunal and the institution and other efficiency efforts in the case administration are likely to have contributed to the shortened length of proceedings. Other contributing factors are likely to be the shift towards the increased use of virtual hearings and the reduced need to travel, says Kristin Campbell-Wilson.
More female arbitrators appointed by SCC
One measuring point in the statistics refer to gender equality in the appointment of arbitrators.
We are very pleased to announce that in 2021, of all arbitrators appointed by the SCC Board, 49% were women. This number represents a gender equality goal that we have been working towards for some time now – in line with the Equality in Arbitration Pledge initiative. Arbitrators appointed by the parties, however, were mostly men - only 17% of them were women.
We will continue to raise awareness and discuss this issue to inspire the parties in SCC arbitrations to appoint female arbitrators to a greater extent, says Kristin Campbell-Wilson.