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The Arbitration Act 1996
Most maritime arbitration in London will be governed by the Arbitration Act 1996 (“the 1996 Act”). This Act of Parliament (also known as a statute) is the most significant piece of English legislation containing statutory rules applicable to arbitration. It came into force on 31 January 1997. It was innovative in many respects, particularly in setting out a fresh statement of the law and imposing duties on the tribunal to adopt efficient procedures. The 1996 Act also maintained many of the established features of the English system, for instance appeals for errors of law. Its main hallmarks are party autonomy and minimising court intervention. However, many provisions apply as a matter of public interest regardless of the parties’ agreement: for example the tribunal’s duty to act fairly and impartially.
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