New DIS Arbitration Rules as of March 1, 2018

February 21, 2018

The German Institution of Arbitration (Deutsche Institution für Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit e.V., or “DIS”), Germany’s most important arbitration institution, has adopted new arbitration rules: The 2018 DIS Arbitration Rules will come into effect on March 1, 2018 and will replace the DIS Rules that have been in effect since 1998.

In light of a series of fundamental amendments, the new DIS Arbitration Rules deserve careful attention and may well be considered as “true reform.”

The 1998 DIS Arbitration Rules have been in force for 20 years. This is notable, considering that statutory procedural law is usually subject to continuous legislative development – either by way of individual amendments or through largescale reform. The nearly 20-year history of the 1998 DIS Arbitration Rules is also remarkable in that the DIS Rules, due to the non-public nature of arbitration proceedings, have not been continuously “modernized” by publicly available case law of “DIS tribunals.”

Considering extensive developments in other fields of law since 1998, and also taking into account amendments to other institutional arbitration rules such as those most recently promulgated by the International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”) in 2017 and 2012, it may not come as a surprise that the DIS reform committee is now offering a truly reformed set of rules.