WESA Unveils Arbitration Details, Including Rules and Fees
Approximately a month ago it was announced that WESA, the World Esports Association, would be introducing an arbitration court that would assist with legal issues facing anyone in the eSports community. While the announcement didn’t provide any specifics, it was promised that WESA’s Arbitration Court of Esports (ACES) would provide impartial arbitrators that would handle disputes confidentially and, presumably, with background knowledge on eSports.
In a lengthy PDF, WESA has finally released the full set of rules that will be used for their arbitration process, as well as a manual that is available for those who are considering using their services. While the document is in-depth and covers a variety of specific details so, for the full list of rules, you can click here to read the PDF in its entirety. Alternatively, you can find some basic, but major, points covered below:
- Arbitration will always use English unless the parties involved can unanimously agree otherwise.
The place of arbitration will be Zurich, Switzerland, unless the parties agree on a different place.
- Cases will have three arbitrators unless the parties agree to use only one.
- Similar to the selection of jurors in the United States of America, arbitrators selected are required to disclose any details about themselves that might make their impartiality suspect; the IBA Guidelines on the Conflicts of Interest in International Arbitration will be used as a guide if there is reason for doubt. However, it was left unclear as to how the court plans to verify that an arbitrator is truly impartial.
- It is possible for settlements to be made during an arbitration process, in which case the arbitration proceedings will conclude. Additionally, claimants may terminate the proceedings so long as it is agreed upon by the defendant.
- Proceedings will be terminated should the party/parties involved refuse to continue, continuing is for some reason impossible, or if parties fail to provide the entire security on fees and expenses within the time limit fixed by the arbitral tribunal/sole arbitrator.
- For cases related to doping, applicable laws and organization rules will both be used for consideration.
- Electronic communication can be used at the arbitrator(s) consent.
- If a party fails to object to a violation of rules or of further requirements for the court, they will be excluded from raising an objection based on the violation unless they were unaware to the violation.
- Cases handled by the ACES will be confidential; parties and arbitrators involved are prohibited from disclosing any details of the dispute.
- All decisions are final; there is no chance for any parties to appeal the outcome of a case handled by ACES.
In terms of the provided ACES manual, ACES encourages that the party looking for arbitration ensures that there is no further room for negotiation before they turn their dispute into a legal concern, likely due to the fact that bringing outside parties into what can be considered a private matter is a good way to burn bridges. It also suggests that the person involved gets advice from a lawyer to check if a time barring of your claim is imminent, and to figure out if you need an emergency arbitrator that can assist you in time-sensitive matters.
The manual also includes a step-by-step to beginning the arbitration process, and what to do if you have been notified that a case against you has been opened. For cases with multiple parties on either side, there is a separate guide available.
It’s worth noting that, while WESA previously boasted that its services would help individuals avoid immense legal costs, the ACES Manual outlines the costs of arbitration depend on the amount that is being disputed. This means that fees can be anywhere from €1,900 to €195,525, or more, and who bears the weight of the fees is solely decided by the arbitrators. ACES also writes that it is recommended that specialized lawyers be present to represent you, but may receive a “reimbursement of their reasonable expenses.”
A certified weeb that passionately live-Tweets his reactions from esports events, Sian is one of those people that hasn’t seen the sun in weeks. You can find him on Twitter @FriendlySenpai