AA 1996—challenging and appealing arbitral awards in the English court

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

  • AA 1996—challenging and appealing arbitral awards in the English court
  • Grounds of challenge or appeal against arbitration awards
  • Challenges and appeals—chances of success
  • Time for making the challenge or appeal to an award
  • Application for further reasons from the tribunal
  • Guidance on applying to challenge or appeal arbitral awards in court
  • Security in respect of challenge and appeal applications
  • Confidentiality and challenge/appeal proceedings
  • Consequences of challenges and appeals—what happens next?
  • Consequences—AA 1996, s 67(3) (substantive jurisdiction)
  • More...

AA 1996—challenging and appealing arbitral awards in the English court

Grounds of challenge or appeal against arbitration awards

An arbitral award can be challenged or appealed under the Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996) only on limited grounds; this is consistent with the Act’s overall purpose to ensure the efficient and final resolution of disputes settled by arbitration.

A party can:

  1. challenge an award in the national courts of the legal place it was made (ie the seat of the arbitration) to attempt to have it annulled or set aside in whole or in part, or

  2. wait until the successful party seeks to enforce the award before a national court and resist enforcement under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the New York Convention) (or other applicable instrument or law) at that stage

The grounds for challenging an award before the courts of England and Wales (England is used as a convenient shorthand in this Practice Note) under AA 1996 are:

  1. lack of substantive jurisdiction of the tribunal (AA 1996, s 67)—for specific guidance, see Practice Note: AA 1996—challenging substantive jurisdiction post-award (s 67)

  2. on grounds of serious irregularity that has caused or will cause substantial injustice to the applicant (AA 1996, s 68)—for specific guidance, see Practice Notes: AA 1996—challenging the award on grounds of serious irregularity (s 68) and Challenging the award—categories

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