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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98773 Find in a Library
Title: Influence of National Legal Systems on International Commercial Arbitration - Recent Developments in English Arbitration Law (From Resolving Transnational Disputes Through International Arbitration, P 80-116, 1984, Thomas E Carbonneau, ed. - See NCJ-98767)
Author(s): W W Park
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 37
Sponsoring Agency: University Press of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Sale Source: University Press of Virginia
Box 3608
University Station
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper examines the recent history of English arbitration law to illustrate how national arbitration law law to illustrate how national arbitration law may evolve to meet the needs of the international commercial community.
Abstract: Recent developments in English arbitration law focus on how much control over international commercial arbitration should be exercised by the legal system of the place of the arbitral proceedings. Prior to August 1979, England's national courts supervised arbitral proceedings to ensure legally correct results. The British Arbitration Act of 1979, however, abolished the 'special case' procedure whereby the British High Court could force an arbitrator to submit a point of law for judicial determination. The intent of the act was to move English arbitration law away from its emphasis on ensuring legally correct results, thereby increasing the autonomy of the arbitral process in England and making London a more attractive location for the arbitration of transnational business disputes. The 1979 act did not repeal the High Court's statutory powers to remit awards for reconsideration by the arbitrator and to set aside an award if the arbitrator had 'misconducted himself.' One type of 'misconduct' of special significance is the arbitrator's rendering of an award in excess of the arbitrator's authority. The future of commercial arbitration in England may depend on how British judges distinguish between an error of law, which the act permits to be removed from judical scrutiny, and the arbitrator's use of excess authority, which is a proper subject for judical review. Uncertainty in this area could be removed by modifying the High Court's power to set aside awards on such vague grounds as arbitrator 'misconduct,' replacing it with the power to address specific defects in the award's integrity. This would involve identifying enumerated procedural deficiencies that call into question the arbitrator's honesty, good faith, or respect for the limits of the arbitrator's authority. A total of 170 footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Commercial arbitration; England; International dispute settlement; Laws and Statutes
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