Last year we wrote about the Law Commission’s initial consultation paper on the Arbitration Act 1996. On 27 March 2023, the Law Commission published another consultation into the 1996 Act, this time focusing on the proper law of the arbitration agreement (which was not covered previously) and also two areas which were covered previously - section 67 challenges and discrimination. We will consider each of these over the next few days.
Before we do, I thought it was interesting to note from the latest Commercial Court annual report that section 67 Act challenges in the Commercial Court were up by 59% compared with the previous year. Whilst the majority of those challenges are still pending, those that have been dealt with were either dismissed on the papers or unsuccessful and one was discontinued. Last year, only 6% of section 67 applications were successful in challenging the jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal. In other words, the English Courts continue to support and respect the arbitral process. There are several other interesting statistics in the report, a recommended read!