Reviewing the Arbitration Act 1996
A Difficult Exercise?
The (English) Arbitration Act 1996 is currently under review by the Law Commission as it turns 27 this year. This article analyses its Consultation Paper released in September 2022, and which contains preliminary recommendations for an update of the Arbitration Act. This analysis reveals that some issues considered by the Law Commission are not new since they had already been identified by the Departmental Advisory Committee on Arbitration Law prior to the adoption of the Arbitration Act 1996. In fact, some of these concerns were unable to be settled back in the 1990s, and still are to some extent 27 years later. For other issues, however, the Law Commission attempts to draw on recent developments in arbitral practice and contemporary challenges (such as climate change and technological advances) though at times failing to integrate them in an updated Act.
Keywords: English arbitration; international arbitration; Arbitration Act 1996; Law Commission’s Review of Arbitration Act.
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