Adopted in 1996, the Arbitration Law (hereinafter referred to as AL) is applicable to abitrations in Great Britain and abroad (where the venue for peaceful resolution of international disputes is the UK). It can also be used to impose obligations on the parties and judges involved in the proceedings. As per the AL, resolving disputes in arbitration in the UK is to be fair and unbiased.
Application of Arbitration Agreements
The arbitration agreement is to be concluded or confirmed in writing. The option of reaching agreement through arbitration is usually included in commercial agreements. However, it can also be set forth separately and included in an agreement. Oral arbitration contracts do not fall within within the scope of the law, but they can be applied in accordance with common law.
UK courts strive to uphold the parties’ commitment to resolve their differences in arbitration. This may include the suspension of proceedings in the UK if the case is to be settled in arbitration.
Article 7 of the law makes special provision for arbitration agreements (hereinafter referred to as AA). Under the provision, AAs can be separable. At the same time, unless the parties agree otherwise, the AA that was meant to be part of a different agreement (written or oral) is not to be considered null and void; since the said agreement is null and void or did not enter into effect, and will, therefore, be considered a separate agreement.
The role of Tribunal in Resolving Disputes
The parties may, at their discretion, agree on the conditions under which the resolving an international dispute in the UK will take place. This agreement can be reached through settling a dispute in arbitration or by incorporating a spate of arbitration rules under which proceedings are to be consolidated under specific circumstances.
The tribunal will resolve disputes if these two conditions are met:
- if the parties agree on the law that will be applied to their dispute
- if the parties reach an agreement between themselves or through arbitration
Under the AL, the arbitrator is not to be biased. Based on the authority granted to the court to relieve the arbitrator of their duties, the arbitrator is to be properly qualified and be be in good health to be able to conduct the hearing.
Here is what the AA may include:
- how many arbitrators there will be
- what the procedure for appointing arbitrators is
- what qualifications arbitrators should have.
Under Article 15, resolution of international disputes in the UK must be carried out by a single arbitrator, if the parties fail to reach an agreement regarding the number of judges. The appointment of a judge may be contested.
While the trial is ongoing, one of the parties may also challenge the jurisdiction of the tribunal. They can raise such an objection once the matter presumed be outside the jurisdiction of the tribunal is brought up. Either of the parties may be stripped of their right to to contest a verdict, if if they fail to raise an objection in a timely manner while the proceedings are ongoing.
The AL does not contain any provisions about which disputes cannot be resolved by arbitration. However, dispute resolution through arbitration is not possible under certain conditions, namely:
- illicit contracts;
- claims that fall within the ERA
The AA contains no clearly formulated confidentiality clause. Parties may specifically refer to confidentiality in their AAs or irely on implied confidentiality. They are also prohibited from divulging any information pertaining to the proceedings, including documents used as evidence and the verdict.
Disclosure of Confidential Information
There are certain restrictions imposed on the information used before or during the proceedings. It can only be divulged in the next proceedings if:
- proper authorization is obtained
- divulging the information is necessary for the protection of the parties’ interests or rights;
- divulging the information may help serve justice
Arbitration proceedings allow the parties to reach a mutually acceptable deal in case of disagreement. However, it takes drawing up an arbitration agreement properly. IQ Decision UK recommends paying attention to the peaceful resolution of disputes through arbitration in England.