Brussels I—arbitration [Archived]
Brussels I—arbitration [Archived]

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

  • Brussels I—arbitration [Archived]
  • Introduction
  • The arbitration exclusion
  • Arbitration agreements and court jurisdiction
  • Proposed changes to Brussels I
  • Anti-suit injunctions

Brexit: The UK's departure from the EU on exit day, ie Friday 31 January 2020, has implications for practitioners considering jurisdiction. For guidance, see: Cross border considerations—checklist—Jurisdiction—Brexit specific.

ARCHIVED: This Practice Note explains the arbitration exclusion in Brussels I and considers the provisions in Brussels I (recast). It also explores whether courts have jurisdiction to hear a dispute which is subject to an arbitration agreement and anti-suit injunctions.

Note: since 10 January 2015 Brussels I has been repealed in its entirety and replaced by Brussels I (recast). However, transitional arrangements have been put in place. For information on those arrangements and whether Brussels I provisions still apply to the matter you are dealing with, see Practice Note: Brussels I (recast)—application and exclusions.


Courts have no jurisdiction to hear disputes subject to an arbitration agreement. Arbitration agreements are private agreements dispensing with the parties' right to have any dispute between them heard by national courts. Instead the parties agree for it to be determined by a tribunal generally chosen by the parties on the basis of their expertise in a specific area.

It should be noted that the legislation in some jurisdictions enables courts to 'assist' in the arbitration process. For example, the English Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996) contains a number of provisions enabling the courts to, amongst other things,