Arbitration Act 1979

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1979 c. 42


Arbitration Act 1979

1979 CHAPTER 42

An Act to amend the law relating to arbitrations and for purposes connected therewith.

[4th April 1979]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

S-1 Judicial review of arbitration awards.

1 Judicial review of arbitration awards.

(1) In the Arbitration Act 1950 (in this Act referred to as ‘the principal Act’) section 21 (statement of case for a decision of the High Court) shall cease to have effect and, without prejudice to the right of appeal conferred by subsection (2) below, the High Court shall not have jurisdiction to set aside or remit an award on an arbitration agreement on the ground of errors of fact or law on the face of the award.

(2) Subject to subsection (3) below, an appeal shall lie to the High Court on any question of law arising out of an award made on an arbitration agreement; and on the determination of such an appeal the High Court may by order—

(a ) confirm, vary or set aside the award; or

(b ) remit the award to the reconsideration of the arbitrator or umpire together with the court's opinion on the question of law which was the subject of the appeal;

and where the award is remitted under paragraph (b ) above the arbitrator or umpire shall, unless the order otherwise directs, make his award within three months after the date of the order.

(3) An appeal under this section may be brought by any of the parties to the reference—

(a ) with the consent of all the other parties to the reference; or

(b ) subject to section 3 below, with the leave of the court.

(4) The High Court shall not grant leave under subsection (3)(b ) above unless it considers that, having regard to all the circumstances, the determination of the question of law concerned could substantially affect the rights of one or more of the parties to the arbitration agreement; and the court may make any leave which it gives conditional upon the applicant complying with such conditions as it considers appropriate.

(5) Subject to subsection (6) below, if an award is made and, on an application made by any of the parties to the reference,—

(a ) with the consent of all the other parties to the reference, or

(b ) subject to section 3 below, with the leave of the court,

it appears to the High Court that the award does not or does not sufficiently set out the reasons for the award, the court may order the arbitrator or umpire concerned to state the reasons for his award in sufficient detail to enable the court, should an appeal be brought under this section, to consider any question of law arising out of the award.

(6) In any case where an award is made without any reason being given, the High Court shall not make an order under subsection (5) above unless it is satisfied—

(a ) that before the award was made one of the parties to the reference gave notice to the arbitrator or umpire concerned that a reasoned award would be required; or

(b ) that there is some special reason why such a notice was not given.

(7) No appeal shall lie to the Court of Appeal from a decision of the High Court on an appeal under this section unless—

(a ) the High Court or the Court of Appeal gives leave; and

(b ) it is certified by the High Court that the question of law to which its decision relates either is one of general public importance or is one which for some other special reason should be considered by the Court of Appeal.

(8) Where the award of an arbitrator or umpire is varied on appeal, the award as varied shall have effect (except for the purposes of this section) as if it were the award of the arbitrator or umpire.

S-2 Determination of preliminary point of law by court.

2 Determination of preliminary point of law by court.

(1) Subject to subsection (2) and section 3 below, on an application to the High Court made by any of the parties to a reference—

(a ) with the consent of an arbitrator who has entered on the reference or, if an umpire has entered on the reference, with his consent, or

(b ) with the consent of all the other parties,

the High Court shall have jurisdiction to determine any question of law arising in the course of the reference.

(2) The High Court shall not entertain an application under subsection (1)(a ) above with respect to any question of law unless it is satisfied that—

(a ) the determination of the application might produce substantial savings in costs to the parties; and

(b ) the question of law is one in respect of which leave to appeal would be likely to be given under section 1(3)(b ) above.

(3) A decision of the High Court under this section shall be deemed to be a judgment of the court within the meaning of section 27 of the Supreme Court of Judicature (Consolidation) Act 1925 (appeals to the Court of Appeal), but no appeal shall lie from such a decision unless—

(a ) the High Court or the Court of Appeal gives leave; and

(b ) it is certified by the High Court that the question of law to which its decision relates either is one of general public importance or is one which for some other special reason should be considered by the Court of Appeal.

S-3 Exclusion agreements affecting rights under sections 1 and 2.

3 Exclusion agreements affecting rights under sections 1 and 2.

(1) Subject to the following provisions of this section and section 4 below—

(a ) the High Court shall not, under section 1(3)(b ) above, grant leave to appeal with respect to a question of law arising out of an award, and

(b ) the High Court shall not, under section 1(5)(b ) above, grant leave to make an application with respect to an award, and

(c ) no application may be made under section 2(1)(a ) above with respect to a question of law,

if the parties to the reference in question have entered into an agreement in writing (in this section referred to as an ‘exclusion agreement’) which excludes the right of appeal under section 1 above in relation to that award or, in a case falling within paragraph (c ) above, in relation to an award to which the determination of the question of law is material.

(2) An exclusion agreement may be expressed so as to relate to a particular award, to awards under a particular reference or to any other description of awards, whether arising out of the same reference or not; and an agreement may be an exclusion agreement for the purposes of this section whether it is entered into before or after the passing of this Act and whether or not it forms part of an arbitration agreement.

(3) In any case where—

(a ) an arbitration agreement, other than a domestic arbitration agreement, provides for disputes between the parties to be referred to arbitration, and

(b ) a dispute to which the agreement relates involves the question whether a party has been guilty of fraud, and

(c ) the parties have entered into an exclusion agreement which is applicable to any award made on the reference of that dispute,

then, except in so far...

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