UK Law Commission Publishes Its Review of the Arbitration Act 1996: Final Report and Bill

On 6 September the Law Commission published its final report and recommendations on reforms to the Arbitration Act. The full report is available here.

Below follows a non-exhaustive summary of some of the key changes:

Statutory Rule on Governing Law of an Arbitration Agreement

English law has developed common law rules to determine which law governs an arbitration agreement. These rules were summarised by the UK Supreme Court in Enka Insaat ve Sanayi AS v OOO Insurance Company Chubb [2020] UKSC 38, and largely confirmed in Kabab-Ji SAL v Kout Food Group [2021] UKSC 48. Broadly speaking, absent an agreement to the contrary the choice of law of the main contract would also apply to the arbitration agreement.

The proposed new Section 6A would alter that framework for agreements post-dating the new Act becoming law. The new Section 6A still recognises the parties’ positive choice of governing law in the arbitration agreement as determinative. Failing such choice, however, the law of the seat will be applied as the governing law.

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ICSID Caseload Statistics (2023 Fiscal Year)

The ICSID Caseload Statistics have now been updated with new data for the fiscal year 2023 (“FY2023”) to capture statistics drawn from cases registered under the ICSID Convention, the Additional Facility Rules and other ICSID-administered cases between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2023.

The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID”) was established in 1966 by the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (the “ICSID Convention”) as a means of furthering the World Bank’s objective of promoting international investment through the provision of a neutral and reliable forum for the resolution of disputes between foreign investors and States. To date, the ICSID Convention counts 158 Contracting States and seven signatory States, bringing the total number of ICSID Member States to 165. Continue reading “ICSID Caseload Statistics (2023 Fiscal Year)”

The Development and Structure of the Court of Arbitration for Sport

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (“CAS”) is the world’s leading arbitration institution for sports-related disputes.

Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, the CAS has further branches (described as “decentralised offices”) in Sydney and New York City which have been in operation since the mid-nineties. It also functions as an ad hoc tribunal during the Olympic Games.

According to statistics published by the CAS, a total of 8,865 cases were submitted to the CAS between 1986 and 2021. Rather than adopt a one-size-fits-all approach to dispute resolution procedure, the CAS offers a suite of different dispute resolution services to serve the sports industry (see further below).

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UK Government announces intention to sign and ratify the Singapore Convention on Mediation

On 2 March 2023, the Ministry of Justice published the UK Government’s response (“Consultation Response”) to the consultation on the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation (New York, 2019) (the “Singapore Convention on Mediation”, or the “Convention”) concluding that “it is the right time for the UK to become a Party”.

In some measure, the Singapore Convention on Mediation seeks to replicate the success of the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the “New York Convention”). Continue reading “UK Government announces intention to sign and ratify the Singapore Convention on Mediation”

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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