Law of the arbitration proceedings—curial law or lex arbitri (England and Wales)
Produced in partnership with Charles Spragge of Druces
Law of the arbitration proceedings—curial law or lex arbitri (England and Wales)

The following Arbitration practice note Produced in partnership with Charles Spragge of Druces 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?
  • The legal seat compared with the place or venue of the proceedings
  • Can the procedural law be different to the law of the seat?
  • Determining the seat
  • Delocalised arbitrations
  • Failure by tribunal to apply the procedural law

The procedural law of the arbitral proceedings

The procedural law of an international arbitration is often referred to as the 'lex arbitri', or, to use the equivalent Anglo-Saxon term, the curial law.

The curial law does not dictate the detailed rules of procedure such as the timetable for exchanging statements of case, document production and the conduct of the hearing, since these are matters for the parties to agree and/or for the tribunal to give directions on, taking into account any arbitration rules that may have been agreed to apply in the proceedings.

The curial law does, however, provide the framework within which the parties and the tribunal conduct the proceedings and crucially it determines the powers of the courts to supervise and support the arbitration and to hear challenges to any awards.

What does the procedural law cover?

Where the procedural law is English (ie where the seat of the arbitration is in England and Wales), the provisions of the Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996) will apply and, by way of illustration, will govern the following:

  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 formal validity of the arbitration agreement

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