The UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration
Produced in partnership with Farrer & Co
The UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration

The following Arbitration guidance note Produced in partnership with Farrer & Co provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration
  • What is the Model Law?
  • Provisions of the Model Law
  • Relevance of the Model Law to English lawyers
  • Case law

What is the Model Law?

As the name suggests, the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (the Model Law) is a model for state legislation on arbitration produced by UNCITRAL (the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law).

The objective of the Model Law (originally published in 1985) was that it would be adopted and implemented by states, harmonising nations' approach to commercial arbitration, as well as improving national arbitration laws.

In that respect, the Model Law has had considerable success. It has been adopted in various forms, to a greater or lesser extent, in over 100 jurisdictions around the world. A list of states with legislation based on the Model Law is available on the UNCITRAL website. However, UNCITRAL makes clear on that webpage:

'Disclaimer: A model law is created as a suggested pattern for law-makers to consider adopting as part of their domestic legislation. Since States enacting legislation based upon a model law have the flexibility to depart from the text, the above list is only indicative of the enactments that were made known to the UNCITRAL Secretariat. The legislation of each State should be considered in order to identify the exact nature of any possible deviation from the model in the legislative text that was adopted. The year of enactment indicated above is the year the legislation was