AA 1996—applying to remove an arbitrator (s 24)
AA 1996—applying to remove an arbitrator (s 24)

The following Arbitration guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • AA 1996—applying to remove an arbitrator (s 24)
  • Applying to court to remove an arbitrator under AA 1996, s 24
  • Exhaustion of other available remedies first
  • Impact on pending arbitration proceedings
  • Entitlement to be heard
  • Making the application
  • The requirement to act promptly
  • Ground 1—justifiable doubts as to impartiality (AA 1996, s 24(1)(a))
  • Ground 2—lack of qualifications required by the arbitration agreement (AA 1996, s 24(1)(b))
  • Ground 3—physical or mental incapacity (AA 1996, s 24(1)(c))
  • more

This Practice Note considers applications to the courts of England and Wales (England and English are used as convenient shorthands) to remove arbitrators pursuant to section 24 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996).

Applying to court to remove an arbitrator under AA 1996, s 24

AA 1996, s 24, which is a mandatory provision of the Act (ie parties cannot agree that it will not apply), provides the English court with a discretionary power to remove arbitrators.

A party to arbitral proceedings may, on notice to (a) the other parties, (b) the arbitrator concerned and (c) any other arbitrator, apply to the court to remove an arbitrator on one (or, indeed, more) of the following grounds:

  1. circumstances exist that give rise to justifiable doubts as to their impartiality (AA 1996, s 24(1)(a))

  2. the arbitrator does not possess the qualifications required by the relevant arbitration agreement (AA 1996, s 24(1)(b))

  3. the arbitrator is not physically or mentally capable of conducting the proceedings or there are justifiable doubts as to their capacity to do so (AA 1996, s 24(1)(c))

  4. the arbitrator has refused or failed to (i) properly conduct the proceedings or (ii) to use all reasonable dispatch in conducting the proceedings or making an award, such that substantial injustice has been or will be caused to the applicant (AA 1996, s