Enhancing the Arbitration Act 1996


The UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitrations 1985 is preferable to the English Arbitration Act 1996, as a system for the resolution of arbitration disputes. In light of this statement, examine critically the key ways in which the Arbitration Act 1996 could be improved and in particular:

  • The nature of the problem and the difficulties which arise in practice;
  • How your proposed solution would improve matters; and
  • What difficulties would remain or arise from your proposed revisions.

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The 1996 Arbitration Act ratified by Parliament encompassed the need to resuscitate the process of arbitration in the United Kingdom. A decree recommended by the DAC Report within the Arbitration Report facilitated the enactment of the Arbitration Bill. The Accord rescinded and substituted the Arbitration Act of 1908[1]. Alternately, the procedures bordering English arbitration facilitated and configured the 1908 Arbitration Act thus developing the desire to change the Act in order to encompass the rapid advancements within the doctrine of Arbitration in British legal context[2]. As such, an international model developed by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) provided the platform to augment the acts on arbitration[3]. The result was the 1996 Arbitration Act.

Coincidentally, the drafting account of the Arbitration Bill illustrates the intention of the Legislature to focus on a law that encompassed and compounded previous English arbitration legislation. Originally, the Act’s title read, “An Act to consolidate the Amendments the Arbitration Acts 1950, 1975 and 1979 and associated enactments”, however, it eventually changed to, “An Act to restate and improve the law relating to arbitration pursuant to an arbitration agreement; to make other provision relating to arbitration and arbitration awards; and for connected purposes”[4]. Regardless of the fact that national legislation avoids delineating arbitration, it is worth mentioning that the 1996 Arbitration Act favourably itemises various leading principles. Foremost, the Act illustrates that the objective of arbitration involves……..

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