Disputes Quick Read – 6 / 81 观点
The Law Commission's reform project on the Arbitration Act 1996 (the Act) has progressed through a meaningful consultation stage involving not one, but two consultation papers. This continued engagement is welcomed by all with an interest in arbitration as England continues to maintain its position as the leading centre for international arbitration.
As we discussed here, the first consultation paper was published on 22 September 2022 and was a lengthy document consisting of 10 chapters addressing key topics which the Commission shortlisted because they reflected "a large measure of agreement among stakeholders that these are the topics which would benefit most from review". The first paper also included a chapter setting out the principal topics which did not make the shortlist, briefly explaining for each why this was the case. The Commission then requested responses and comments from all stakeholders, allowing a three-month period for such submissions which closed on 15 December 2022.
After reviewing the responses received, the Commission decided to publish a second consultation paper on 27 March 2023. Contrary to its predecessor, the second paper is much shorter and only covers three topics, two of which were already considered in the first paper but needed revisiting and one of which was elevated from the list of discarded topics. In doing so, the Commission clearly gave careful consideration to the responses received and even engaged in further discussions and correspondence with a number of consultees – all of which constituted a useful dialogue with the arbitration community whereby the Commission listened to their concerns and opinions.
The three topics featured in the second consultation paper are as follows:
The contents of the second consultation paper are in line with the desire that England & Wales maintain its position as a strong arbitration-friendly hub and London as the world's most popular seat. However, recalling that the first consultation paper included a chapter explaining why several areas were not shortlisted, it is worth pausing to consider some of those which remain beyond the scope of the Commission's suggested reforms:
The consultation period for the second paper closed on 22 May 2023. The stakeholder responses may well justify the publication of a third paper. Either way, the expectation in light of the consultation to date is that some reform is on the way. Generally, two-thirds of the Law Commission's recommendations are implemented. For arbitration practitioners this is welcome and reinforces the commitment the UK has to promoting private dispute resolution.
We will continue to monitor the progress of the Commission's final recommendations.
To discuss the issues raised in this article in more detail, please reach out to a member of our team.
作者 James Bryden
作者 James Bryden
作者 Nick Maday
Welcome news for those pursuing fraud claims in the English Courts
作者 Nick Storrs
作者 James Bryden
作者 Stuart Broom