London Maritime Arbitration
Stays of English court proceedings brought in breach of an agreement to arbitrate
This chapter is about the English court’s jurisdiction under section 9 of the 1996 Act to grant stays of English court proceedings and also its inherent jurisdiction to stay such proceedings under powers arising outside statutory rules. A stay is the legal term for a suspension or halt of proceedings. Injunctions stopping foreign proceedings and arbitral proceedings are dealt with in chapter 8. Arbitrators can grant stays of their own arbitral proceedings in part or whole, for instance on the parties’ request pending settlement negotiations. Stays granted by arbitrators arise under their powers over procedure and must be justified as within their duty to decide cases justly and efficiently. For this reason an arbitrator’s stay of arbitral proceedings should not usually be for an indefinite period. By contrast a court’s stay of its proceedings will usually be a final remedy.