Case study—application to set aside appointment of sole arbitrator (AA 1996, s 17)—introduction and factual scenario

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

  • Factual scenario for case study

Section 17 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996) provides that where each of two parties to an arbitration agreement is to appoint an arbitrator and one party either refuses to do so or fails to do so within the time specified in the arbitration agreement, the other party, having duly appointed his arbitrator, may notify the party in default that he proposes to appoint his arbitrator to act as sole arbitrator of the dispute. The party in default then has seven days from service of such notice to make and give notice of his appointment, failing which the sole arbitrator shall be appointed and his award will be binding on both parties.

AA 1996, s 17(3) allows the party in default in such a case to apply to the court to set aside the appointment of the sole arbitrator. The party in default must set out why he considers the court ought to exercise its discretion to set aside the appointment of the sole arbitrator. Examples of grounds include:

  1. failure to adhere to the notice provisions set out in the statute

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