Arbitration Agreements Under English Law: What You Need to Know
Arbitration agreements are a commonly used tool in commercial contracts, particularly in international transactions. An arbitration agreement is a contract by which parties agree to resolve their disputes through arbitration, rather than through court proceedings. The agreement outlines the process, rules, and procedure that will be followed during the arbitration process.
In English law, there are several laws and regulations that apply to arbitration agreements. Here`s what you need to know:
1. Legal basis
The main legal basis for arbitration agreements in England is the Arbitration Act 1996. This act sets out the rules and regulations that govern the arbitration process, including the validity and enforcement of arbitration agreements.
To be valid, an arbitration agreement must meet certain requirements under English law. It must be in writing, and it must be signed by both parties or contained in a document that is signed by both parties. Furthermore, the agreement must clearly state the intention of the parties to arbitrate their disputes.
Under English law, arbitration agreements are generally enforceable. However, there are some exceptions. For example, if the arbitration agreement is illegal or contrary to public policy, it will not be enforceable. Additionally, if one party can prove that they did not have the opportunity to review the agreement or that it was signed under duress, the agreement may be set aside.
The scope of an arbitration agreement is also an important consideration. It must clearly define the disputes that will be subject to arbitration. If the agreement is too broad or too narrow, it may be challenged in court.
The arbitration process is governed by the rules and procedures set out in the arbitration agreement. This may include the number of arbitrators, the location of the arbitration, and the language to be used during the process. Both parties must follow the agreed-upon procedures.
Once an arbitration award has been issued, it can be enforced by the courts in England. It will have the same force and effect as a court judgment.
In conclusion, arbitration agreements under English law are a complex subject that requires careful consideration. If you`re entering into a commercial contract that includes an arbitration agreement, it`s important to seek the advice of legal experts. They can help you ensure that your agreement meets all the necessary legal requirements and that you`re fully protected in the event of a dispute.