Korean Commercial Arbitration Boards New International Mediation Rules

The Korean Commercial Arbitration Board (“KCAB”) in a move to encourage more international mediation at the KCAB has adopted International Medication Rules. The International Mediation Rules of the KCAB are effective as of January 1, 2024. The KCAB is the, only, statutorily-authorized arbitration board in Korea. For an article on arbitration in Korea, please see Arbitration in Korea at the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board and an Introduction to Korean Arbitration.

Korean Arbitration

The International Mediation Rules of the KCAB are a reaction to the growth in mediation and adoption by Australia, China, India, Korea, Singapore the United Kingdom, the United States, and 50+ other countries of the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation (“Singapore Mediation Convention”).

The Singapore Mediation Convention is an agreement between nations that provides a “uniform and efficient framework for the recognition and enforcement of mediated settlement agreements that resolve international, commercial disputes – akin to the framework that the 1958 New York Convention provides for arbitral awards.” (Schnabel, Timothy (2019). “The Singapore Convention on Mediation: A Framework for the Cross-Border Recognition and Enforcement of Mediated Settlements”Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal19 (1): 1. Retrieved 7 August 2023.)

The KCAB’s International Mediation Rules is a concise set of eleven clauses and an Annex (noting the cost of mediation). These rules were modeled after mediation rules and practices of the major international mediation and arbitration bodies.

The main purposes of the rules are to: Encourage and Foster Settlements; Ensure the Enforceability of Settlement Agreements; Avoid Conflicts of Interest; and Ensure Confidentiality. These basic rules do a decent job setting out the goalposts while leaving enough flexibility for the parties and the mediator.

IPG Legal is engaged in international litigation and arbitration of disputes. IPG Legal was rated Dispute Resolution Law Firm of the Year for 2022 and 2023. In some cases, we recommend mediation and the KCAB’s International Mediation Rules provide decent guidelines for the mediation of disputes at the KCAB.

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