Can the court extend time limits in arbitration?

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Last updated on 27/04/2015

The following Arbitration Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can the court extend time limits in arbitration?
  • Time limit agreed by the parties
  • Notice
  • Statutory time limits
  • When can an application to extend time be made?
  • Grounds for extension of time

Can the court extend time limits in arbitration?

The court's power to extend time limits is set out in various parts of the Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996):

  1. AA 1996, s 79 (extension of time to time limits agreed by the parties)

  2. AA 1996, s 12 (extension of time for beginning arbitration proceedings)—see: AA 1996—extension of time for commencing arbitration (s 12)—Extension of contractual time limit—AA 1996, s 12

  3. AA 1996, s 80(5) (extension of time for bringing a challenge or an appeal)—see Practice Note: AA 1996—time for bringing challenges and appeals, exhaustion of other arbitral processes and extensions of time

  4. AA 1996, s 50 (extension of time for making the award)—see: Arbitral awards—types, requirements and effect—Time limit for making award

This Q&A focuses on AA 1996, s 79.

Note that AA 1996 only applies to an arbitration seated in England, Wales or Northern Ireland (AA 1996, s 2)—for the meaning of 'seat', see Practice Note: The seat of the arbitration.

Time limit agreed by the parties

AA 1996, s 79(1) provides that, unless the parties agree otherwise, the court may extend any time limit agreed by the parties 'in relation to any matter relating to the arbitral proceedings' or specified in AA 1996, Pt I (AA 1996, ss 1–84 inclusive) save for the time limit set in AA 1996, s 12 (though in practice there are also other exceptions

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