AA 1996—court powers in support of arbitration—an introduction
Produced in partnership with Simmons & Simmons LLP
AA 1996—court powers in support of arbitration—an introduction

The following Arbitration guidance note Produced in partnership with Simmons & Simmons LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • AA 1996—court powers in support of arbitration—an introduction
  • The general principle—minimal interference by the courts in the arbitral process
  • The scope of the court’s powers in relation to arbitration
  • Issuing or granting emergency relief
  • Issuing or granting anti-suit and anti-arbitration injunctions
  • Extensions of time
  • Evidence and securing the attendance of a witness
  • Documents from third parties
  • Determining law and jurisdiction

This Practice Note provides an introduction to the powers the courts of England and Wales (England and English are used for convenience) have in relation to arbitral proceedings under English law and the Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996). Further information is also contained in Practice Note: A guide to the Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996) and the ‘Related documents’.

The general principle—minimal interference by the courts in the arbitral process

The AA 1996 is underpinned by three general principles, which include ensuring party autonomy in the arbitral process with minimum court intervention.

Nevertheless, under the AA 1996 the English courts have certain powers which they can use to support the arbitral process. Many of these powers are capable of being excluded by agreement in writing between the parties, although a number are mandatory in accordance with AA 1996, s 4(1) and Sch 1 to the Act.

For more information on the general principles, see Practice Note: A guide to the Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996)—the general principles underlying the AA 1996 (AA 1996, s 1).

The scope of the court’s powers in relation to arbitration

The court’s powers set out in the AA 1996 apply where the seat of the arbitration is England and Wales or Northern Ireland (England, again, is used for convenience). The court may also apply the