Law of the arbitration proceedings—curial law or lex arbitri (England and Wales)
Produced in partnership with Giles Robertson of Fountain Court

The following Arbitration practice note produced in partnership with Giles Robertson of Fountain Court provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Law of the arbitration proceedings—curial law or lex arbitri (England and Wales)
  • The procedural law of the arbitral proceedings
  • What does the procedural law cover?
  • What does the procedural law not cover?
  • How is the procedural law determined?
  • What is the seat?
  • How is the seat determined?
  • What if the seat is not specified in the arbitration agreement?
  • Can the procedural law be different to the law of the seat?
  • Delocalised arbitrations
  • More...

Law of the arbitration proceedings—curial law or lex arbitri (England and Wales)

This Practice Note considers the procedural law of arbitration proceedings and how it is determined under the law of England and Wales (England and English are used as convenient shorthand).

The procedural law of the arbitral proceedings

The procedural law of an arbitration is also called the 'lex arbitri' or the 'curial law'. It provides the framework for the power of the courts supervising and supporting the arbitration, and for most challenges to awards.

The curial law does not generally specify the detail of how the arbitration is conducted. Normally, that is determined by any applicable arbitration rules, the procedural orders of the tribunal, and the parties' agreement. The curial law can, however, set minimum standards for arbitral procedure.

Because each country makes its own procedural law, the scope and content of the procedural law will differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

What does the procedural law cover?

Where the procedural law is English law, the relevant provisions are set out in Part I of the Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996), and cover:

  1. the freedom of the parties to agree how their disputes are to be resolved and the extent to which they can disapply provisions of AA 1996 (AA 1996, ss 1(b), 4)

  2. the obligation of the tribunal to conduct the proceedings fairly (AA 1996, s 33(1)(a))

  3. the requirement

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