Jurisdictional issues arising in international arbitration

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

  • Jurisdictional issues arising in international arbitration
  • Validity of the arbitration agreement
  • Whether the tribunal was properly constituted
  • Scope of the arbitration agreement
  • Arbitrator's powers
  • How to raise a jurisdictional challenge
  • Jurisdiction challenges post-award

Jurisdictional issues arising in international arbitration

This Practice Note provides an introduction to some of the jurisdictional issues that may arise in international arbitration proceedings and could lead to challenges to an arbitral tribunal’s substantive jurisdiction over a dispute or part thereof. It is important that both the parties' advisors and the tribunal be aware of the areas where a jurisdictional challenge may arise and advise participants accordingly.

It is important to remember that although a party may have grounds to raise a jurisdictional challenge in a particular case that does not mean that it ought to or will do so. It may be that while a party considers a matter not to be subject to an arbitration agreement, the same party would prefer for the matter to be determined by arbitration in any event, therefore waiving its right to challenge jurisdiction on certain grounds. Any such waiver should be confirmed in writing.

Identifying the law applicable to the determination of jurisdictional issues is potentially complex as the law governing the substance of the dispute, the law of the arbitration agreement and the law of the proceedings (curial law) may all need to be considered to assess which law applies to the question of jurisdiction.

Generally speaking, in the absence of contrary party agreement, the tribunal alone has the power to rule on questions of jurisdiction. However, under

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