The following Arbitration practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
A party to arbitration proceedings may (on notice to the other parties and to the tribunal) apply to the English and Welsh courts challenging an award made in the proceedings on the ground of serious irregularity affecting the tribunal, the proceedings or the award (section 68(1) of Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996)). England and English are used in this Practice Note as convenient shorthand.
Generally speaking, there will be no question regarding the status of a tribunal or arbitrator’s decision (ie whether it is an award or not). If a challenge is made on the ground of serious irregularity and the status of the decision is not clear, the court will consider the status of the decision as a threshold point before it proceeds. A decision cannot give rise to a serious irregularity challenge if the court considers that it is not an award (see ZCCM v Kansanshi). In ZCCM v Kansanshi, Cockerill J set out some useful guidance to consider when seeking to determine the distinction between an award and a procedural order in these circumstances—see News Analysis: AA 1996, s 68 challenge to an arbitrators’ ‘ruling’ fails on threshold point (ZCCM v Kansanshi).
Serious irregularity is defined as irregularity that falls within one or more of the nine categories specified in AA 1996, s 68(2)(a)–(i) which the
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