Early dismissal, summary dismissal and strike out in arbitration proceedings
Early dismissal, summary dismissal and strike out in arbitration proceedings

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

  • Early dismissal, summary dismissal and strike out in arbitration proceedings
  • AA 1996—early dismissal of claims
  • Institutional arbitration—early or summary dismissal of claims
  • Other summary or early dismissal procedures—examples
  • The UNCITRAL Model Law

This Practice Note considers the issue of whether arbitral tribunals are empowered to strike out, summarily dismiss or expeditiously determine claims (or defences) in arbitration proceedings under English and Welsh law (English and England are used as shorthand throughout) principally pursuant to section 41 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996) for inordinate and inexcusable delay/want of prosecution and failure to attend oral hearing or failure to make written submissions, and under the arbitration rules of international arbitral institutions.

AA 1996—early dismissal of claims

Under English law, there is no express power for an arbitral tribunal to summarily dismiss or strike out a party's claim or defence in arbitration proceedings on the grounds, for example, that the party's case lacks legal merit.

In this regard, the position of the tribunal in arbitration proceedings contrasts with the English court's powers to proceed to summary judgment or strike out a party's statement of case in litigation—see: Summary judgment and strike out—overview.

Nevertheless, the AA 1996 does provide tribunals with some express powers to act in cases where a party to arbitration proceedings fails to do something necessary for the proper and expeditious conduct of the arbitration (AA 1996, s 41(1)). Note that the parties are free to agree on the tribunal's powers in this regard, which means the powers in AA 1996, s 41