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Arbitration clauses are commonplace in maritime contracts. 1
Subject to statutory limitations it is always open to parties to a dispute to agree to submit that dispute to an arbitration rather than a court either when the dispute occurs or prior to it—preferring a decision making process partly at least in the hands of non-lawyers, confidential 2
and arguably less costly and more speedy. In English law, as is seen in Chapter 12 , an arbitration agreement can form the basis for the stay of court proceedings commenced contrary to it or an injunction to restrain a party from foreign proceedings contrary to it. Such an agreement is a contract enforceable through the courts as such but with a superimposed statutory framework applicable to it through the Arbitration Act 1996. An arbitration agreement is not a ground for refusal to issue a claim form in legal proceedings contrary to it. It is a ground for stay of those proceedings ( see infra
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