white black legal international law journal ISSN: 2581-8503

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Table of contents


  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
  3. The History of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
  4. The mission of ICC
  5. The values of ICC
  6. Governance of international chamber of commerce
  7. The ICC’s Governing Bodies
  8. Leading dispute resolution worldwide
  9. Dispute resolution services
  10. ICC Dispute Resolution Services exist in many forms
  11. Arbitral Proceedings





The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is a business organization representing enterprises from all sectors in over 130 countries. The International Chamber of Commerce promotes international trade and investment, and helps business meet the challenges and opportunities of globalization.

 ICC has three main activities – rule setting, arbitration and policy – and provides essential services such as ICC Arbitration, training, commercial crime fighting and customs facilitation.

The ICC's networks of committees and experts represent the full range of business sectors. They also maintain contact with the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and other intergovernmental agencies.

Headquarter - Paris, France

ICC Secretary General - John W.H. DENTON AO

ICC Chair - Maria Fernande GARZA

First Vice-Chair, ICC- Philippe VARIN

Vice-Chair- Nayla COMAIR-OBEID

Understanding the International Chamber

of Commerce (ICC)

The ICC aims to foster international trade and commerce to promote and protect open markets for goods and services and the free flow of capital. The ICC is responsible for a number of functions, including the establishment of rules, dispute resolution, policy advocacy, and training. The ICC also wages war on commercial crime and corruption to bolster economic growth, create jobs and stabilize employment, and ensure overall economic prosperity.

Because members of the ICC and their associates engage in international business, the ICC has unparalleled authority in setting rules that govern cross-border business. While these rules are voluntary, thousands of daily transactions abide by the ICC-established rules as part of regular international trade.

The History of the International Chamber

of Commerce (ICC)

The ICC was founded in Paris, France in 1919. The organization’s international secretariat was also established in Paris, and its International Court of Arbitration was formed in 1923. The first chair of the chamber was Étienne Clémentel, the early-20th-century French politician.

Our conviction that trade is a powerful force for peace is a legacy of our founders who called themselves “Merchants of Peace”, believing fervently that strong and mutually beneficial commercial ties among nations would not only make them more prosperous but also less likely to go to war.  

ICC was founded in 1919 in the aftermath of the First World War, at a time when no world system of rules governed trade, investment, finance or commercial relations. Our founders were a group of industrialists, financiers, and traders determined to replace fear and suspicion with a new spirit of hope and cooperation. Acting on their conviction that the private sector is best qualified to set global standards for business, they called themselves “Merchants of Peace”.

ICC emerged as an organisation that would represent business everywhere. A century after our founding, ICC issued a Declaration on the Next Century of Global Business setting out a vision to shape the future of global business for the next century. Via the declaration, we embrace ICC’s renewed purpose to enable business worldwide to secure peace, prosperity and opportunity for all. 

The mission of ICC

The mission of ICC is to make business work for everyone, every day, everywhere by promoting open international trade and investment systems that foster peace, prosperity and opportunity for all.

Our neutrality and independence the key determinant of our ability to build trusted relationships with policymakers and international organisations – and is the hallmark of the products and services we provide to companies large and small to enable cross border commerce. 

We support multilateralism as the best way to address global challenges and are uniquely positioned as a globally connected and representative business organisation to speak with authority on behalf of enterprises from all sectors in every region of the world. Combined, our national committee and World Chambers Federation networks reach over 170 countries, encompassing more than 45 million businesses from SMEs to the large multi-national companies.   

Through our long history, we have witnessed the power of international commerce to lift millions of people out of poverty. Today, we work to advance our purpose to secure peace, prosperity and opportunity for all by combining our global influence and unmatched expertise in advocacy, standard setting activities, commercial dispute resolution and provision of global services. We support the international community through the promotion of international trade and the delivery of practical tools and services to adapt and meet the challenges of globalisation towards a more inclusive and sustainable future. 

The values of ICC

The corporate culture at ICC is based on shared values – the foundation of the work we’ve done for more than 100 years. 

The ICC Way” provides a framework to accomplish our goals, show our strength in the diversity of our global representatives, united in a common method of collaboration and decision making: 

  • We are Connected

We leverage networks, technology and effective communication to unify business for a better world. 

  • We are pioneering

It’s in our DNA to develop the standards, partnerships and initiatives which chart the course for a more prosperous future. 

  • We are independent

While we respect many conventions and protocols of the past, our drive to speak out and transform helps us to go further faster. 

  • We are generous

Above all else, our commitment to ICC’s purpose is evident in the way we enable and care about the people who help us to achieve it. 

Governance of international chamber of commerce

The International Chamber of Commerce is governed by its Constitution, which sets forth the structure of the organisation and how it carries out its work. ICC’s supreme governing body is our World Council, comprising representatives of the global business community. The World Council is the equivalent of the general assembly of a major intergovernmental organisation. 

  • ICC Executive Board 

Develops and implements ICC’s strategy, policy and programme of action. 

  • Chairmanship and Secretary General 

Formulates proposals for ICC’s strategy, policy and programme of action

  • World Council

ICC’s supreme governing body, the World Council is the equivalent of the general assembly of a major intergovernmental organisation. In this case however, the delegates are business executives and not government officials.

The ICC’s Governing Bodies

There are four primary governing bodies of the ICC. The lead governing body is the World Council, which is composed of national committee representatives. The highest officers of the ICC, the chair, and vice-chair are elected by the World Council every two years. 

The executive board provides strategic direction for the ICC. The board is elected by the World Council and is comprised of 30 business leaders and ex-officio members. The executive board's prominent duties are the development of ICC strategies and policy implementation.

The international secretariat is the operational arm of the ICC and is responsible for developing and implementing the ICC’s work program and introducing business perspectives to intergovernmental organizations. The secretary-general, who is appointed by the World Council, oversees this governing body.

The finance committee acts as an advisor to the executive board on all financial aspects. This committee prepares the budget on behalf of the board, submits regular reports, reviews the financial implications of ICC activities, and oversees all expenses and revenue flow.

Leading dispute resolution worldwide

With unmatched levels of excellence in arbitration and ADR services, we facilitate the prevention and resolution of disputes for companies, states and individuals, making business work for everyone, every day, everywhere.

When commercial disputes arise, you can rely on us for dispute prevention and resolution services that are affordable, predictable and efficient. We offer a wide choice of administered procedures – including arbitration – as an alternative to litigation for resolving domestic and international disputes. What’s more, our globally accessible and neutral services are available to anyone: from private sector enterprises to individuals, states and state-owned entities.

Dispute resolution services

ICC's administered dispute resolution services help solve difficulties in international business. ICC Arbitration is a private procedure that leads to a binding and enforceable decision.

The International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce steers ICC Arbitration and has received over 24,000 cases since its inception in 1923. Over the past decade, the court's workload has considerably expanded.

The court's membership has also grown and covers 85 countries and territories. With representatives in North America, Latin and Central America, Africa and the Middle East and Asia, the ICC Court has significantly increased its training activities on all continents and in all major languages used in international trade.


ICC Dispute Resolution Services exist in many forms:

  • Arbitration is a flexible and efficient dispute resolution procedure leading to binding and final decisions subject to enforcement worldwide.
  • Mediation is a flexible technique, conducted privately and confidentially, in which a neutral facilitator helps parties to seek a negotiated settlement of their dispute.
  • Dispute boards are independent bodies designed to help resolve disagreements arising during the course of a contract.
  • Expertise is a way of finding the right person to make an independent assessment on any subject relevant to business operations.
  • DOCDEX provides expert decisions to resolve disputes related to documentary credits, collections and demand guarantees, incorporating ICC banking rules.

Expedited or 'fast-track' arbitration procedures automatically apply where disputes are worth US$2 million or less, if the arbitration agreement was made after 1 March 2017, unless the parties have specifically opted out of the expedited procedure in their agreement.


Arbitral Proceedings

The Arbitral Tribunal and the parties shall make every effort to conduct the arbitration in an expeditious and cost-effective manner

  • Article 20: Language of the proceedings

If not agreed by the parties, the Arbitral Tribunal determines the language or languages of the arbitration.

  • Article 28: Conservatory measures

The Rules provide that the Arbitral Tribunal can order interim or conservatory measures. This does not affect the parties’ rights, in appropriate circumstances, to apply to any competent judicial authority for such measures.

  • Article 21: Law applicable to the merits

In the absence of an agreement between the parties as to the applicable rules of law, the Arbitral Tribunal applies the rules of law that it determines to be appropriate. In all cases, the Arbitral Tribunal takes account of the provisions of the contract and the relevant trade usages.

If the parties have agreed to give it such powers, the Arbitral Tribunal may act as amiable compositeur or decide ex aequo et bono.

  • Articles 19, 22, 25, 26: Rules of procedure

The ICC Arbitration procedure is very flexible. The parties and arbitrators are free to fix the rules of procedure, subject to any mandatory provisions that may be applicable. The parties may determine, for instance, whether and to what extent document production requests or cross-examination will be allowed. The Arbitral Tribunal proceeds within as short a time as possible to establish the facts of the case by all appropriate means. The parties have the right to be heard. The tribunal may also decide to hear witnesses and experts as well as may summon any party to provide additional evidence.

Awards and Award Scrutiny

Scrutiny is a distinctive feature of ICC Arbitration. No arbitral award is issued without the Court’s approval.

  • Submission of the draft Award and scrutiny

After the closing of the proceedings, the Arbitral Tribunal will draw up a draft “Award” that is submitted to the Court for scrutiny. The Court will scrutinise all awards. In doing so, it may lay down modifications as to form and, without affecting the Arbitral Tribunal’s liberty of decision, draw its attention to points of substance. In scrutinising draft awards, the Court considers, to the extent practicable, the requirements of mandatory law at the place of arbitration.

  • Notification of the Award

Once approved by the Court, the “Award” is signed by the arbitrators. It is deemed to be made at the place of the arbitration on the date indicated. It is then notified to the parties by the Secretariat.



  1. "International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Academy - Certifications in Int'l Trade & Finance"
  2. International Chamber Of Commerce (ICC) DefinitionInvestopedia (2011-04-21). Retrieved on 2013-07-19.
  3. ICC Booklet "Rules of Arbitration and Rules for a Pre-Arbitral Referee Procedure",
  4.  "ICC Research Foundation"



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