A guide to the Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996)
Produced in partnership with Stephenson Harwood
A guide to the Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996)

The following Arbitration guidance note Produced in partnership with Stephenson Harwood provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A guide to the Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996)
  • The scope of the AA 1996 (AA 1996, s 2)
  • The structure of the AA 1996
  • The general principles underlying the AA 1996 (AA 1996, s 1)
  • The separability of arbitration agreements (AA 1996, s 7)
  • The substantive jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal under the AA 1996 (AA 1996, ss 30–32)
  • The seat of arbitration under the AA 1996 (AA 1996, s 3)
  • The role and powers of the arbitral tribunal under the AA 1996
  • Conduct of the proceedings (or reference) (AA 1996, s 33)
  • Ruling on substantive jurisdiction (AA 1996, s 31)
  • more

For parties and lawyers conducting arbitration proceedings seated in England and Wales or Northern Ireland (England is used here as a convenient shorthand) and/or seeking enforcement of domestic or international awards in England, understanding the Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996) is fundamental.

Unlike the arbitration legislation of some other leading seats of arbitration, for example Hong Kong’s Arbitration Ordinance (Cap 609), the AA 1996 does not transpose or is not largely based on the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (the Model Law), although the AA 1996 does owe much to that instrument. After it was enacted, the AA 1996 was described as a ‘striking innovation’ that ‘create[d] an accessible and almost complete code of conduct, embodying a consistent vision of the arbitral process...’ (Mustill & Boyd, Commercial Arbitration, Second Edition, 2001 Companion, LexisNexis Butterworths, page 3) (Mustill & Boyd, 2001 Companion).

The AA 1996 is divided into four parts and four schedules:

  1. Part I—(AA 1996, ss 1–84), which contains the basic principles of the law of arbitration in England including, among other matters, what amounts to an arbitration agreement, the appointment and role of the arbitral tribunal, the conduct of the arbitral proceedings and the court’s supervisory powers over arbitration proceedings

  2. Part II—(AA 1996, ss 85—98), which deals mainly with consumer arbitration agreements and statutory arbitrations

  3. Part III—(AA 1996, ss