Are there any impending plans to reform the arbitration laws in your country?

International Arbitration

Austria Small Flag Austria

The latest reform to the arbitration law in 2013 reduced the number of instances in the arbitration related litigation before national courts. The previous three-staged process was replaced by a one-tier system with the Austrian Supreme Court as court of first and last instance (see question 28 below). At present, there are no further reforms planned.

France Small Flag France

Decree No. 2011-48 of 13 January 2011 made some significant changes to French arbitration law. The Decree codified some well-established jurisprudence and developed some new principles. It is therefore unlikely that there will be any further extensive changes made to arbitration law in the near future. However, the French courts are often one step ahead of the legislator when it comes to developing French arbitration law.

Portugal Small Flag Portugal

At present and considering the fact that the arbitration law is a recent one, there are no impending plans to reform the law. There is, however, a study for a law regarding arbitration proceedings in corporate matters.

Romania Small Flag Romania

No reforms or significant changes are expected in the near future, as the applicable legislation is relatively recent – the new Code of Civil Procedure was enacted on February 15 2013. Discussions are ongoing around the need to broaden the scope of arbitrability of disputes.

Sweden Small Flag Sweden

The Arbitration Act is currently under review.

Several of the suggested revisions are designed to clarify and improve the procedures for setting aside an arbitral award in court. Reflecting the increasing number of international arbitrations in Sweden, the committee proposes that proceedings for setting aside awards may be conducted in English if a party so requests. Moreover, revisions regarding multi-party disputes, provisions governing the determination of applicable law, consolidation of arbitrations and court intervention regarding arbitral jurisdiction are proposed.

UAE Small Flag UAE

Since 2008 there have been several initiatives to amend the existing arbitration regime and drafts of a Federal Arbitration Law have been issued for consultation. The most recent indications are that any new law would be based on the Egyptian arbitration law. However, at the time of writing there is no visibility regarding a timetable leading to a new Federal Arbitration Law.

Switzerland Small Flag Switzerland

The Swiss Federal Council has tasked a working group with the revision of the provisions on international arbitration of the PILA. There is not intent to fundamentally reform the rules on international arbitration in Switzerland. Rather, the revision is directed at implementing and converting into law developments in international arbitration over the last roughly 25 years driven by the case law of the Swiss Federal Tribunal. The objective is for Switzerland to maintain its attractiveness for international arbitration. The first results of the working group are to be expected in the beginning of the year 2017.

New Zealand Small Flag New Zealand

An Arbitration Amendment Bill is currently before Parliament. It has been partially considered and is expected to be passed into legislation in the final quarter of 2016. The Amendment Act proposes to:

a. expand the definition of “arbitral tribunal” to include an emergency arbitrator;
b. insert a new section 6A, under which the Minister of Justice must appoint a “suitably qualified body” in place of the High Court to resolve article 11 (3) to (6) appointment of arbitrator matters.

The identity of the “appointed body” has not yet been specified, but the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Association of New Zealand (AMINZ) is the obvious choice.

There are no other impending reform plans. Two options for reform which have been mooted by AMINZ, but are not yet in train, include:

a. extending the presumption of confidentiality for New Zealand-seated arbitrations, which is found in sections 14 to 14I of the Act, to the conduct and publication of related court proceedings (New Zealand’s position on this currently differs from that in England, Singapore and Hong Kong); and
b. confirming (contrary to the result in PT First Media TBK (formerly known as PT Broadband Multimedia TBK) v Astro Nusantara International BV and others and another appeal (2013) SGCA 57) that failure to challenge a jurisdictional ruling amounts to a waiver of any jurisdictional objections. AMINZ has suggested adding a new article 16(4) to Schedule 1 to declare that failure to submit a timely request under paragraph (3) operates as a waiver of future jurisdictional objection, including in a recognition and enforcement context.

Another potential reform option might be to reexamine clause 5 of Schedule 2 to simplify the process for appeals on questions of law.

Malaysia Small Flag Malaysia

Though the AA is an adaptation of the 1985 UNICTRAL Model Law, there have been no calls thus far to reform the AA to incorporate the 2006 revisions to the UNICTRAL Model Law.

United States Small Flag United States

There are no impending plans to reform the arbitration laws in the United States. The US Congress considered several amendments to the FAA, particularly in order to protect employees and consumers, but those amendments did not succeed, and no substantial changes are expected in the near future.

Singapore Small Flag Singapore

Currently, in Singapore there is a proposed legislation to legalise and regulate third-party funding for international arbitration. Singapore law currently prohibits third-party funding in both litigation and arbitration by application of the common law doctrines of champerty and maintenance. The new legislation, if enacted, would allow for third-party funding in international arbitration proceedings seated in Singapore and arbitration-related litigation and mediation in Singapore.

Brazil Small Flag Brazil

As mentioned in the item 1 above, the Law nº 9.307/1996, which regulates arbitration in Brazil, was recently amended by Law nº 13.129/2015.

Canada Small Flag Canada

The Uniform Law Conference of Canada [“ULCC”] adopted model international arbitration legislation to, among other things, incorporate the 2006 amendments to the Model Law. As of now, those amendments have not been enacted in Canadian legislation. Some provinces and territories are expected to adopt the amendments. There is similar movement regarding domestic legislation.

Panama Small Flag Panama

There are no impending plans to reform the arbitration laws in Panama.

Spain Small Flag Spain

Not at the moment. Law 11/2011, of 20 May, conducted the last reform of the Arbitration Law.

Turkey Small Flag Turkey

The Istanbul Arbitration Center (“ISTAC”) was established under the Law no. 6570 (ISTAC Law) as of 1 January 2015. The ISTAC Rules include fast-track rules for arbitration and it is a new approach to finalize the commercial disputes in Turkey. Additionally, the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce Arbitration Center (“ITOTAM”) has amended its ITOTAM Arbitration Rules as of 14 April 2016 by providing emergency and expedited arbitration rules.

Germany Small Flag Germany

The German Federal Ministry of Justice recently established a task force to review the German national arbitration law and to determine whether and to what extent the German arbitration law requires adaptations. Since the process has just started, it cannot yet be predicted what topics will be discussed.

Also, we see various institutions (e.g. the German Institution of Arbitration) to revise their arbitration rules to take account for new development (usually the updates cover specific arbitration proceedings, e.g. emergency arbitration, multiparty arbitration, arbitration proceedings concerning corporate law, or the new rules aim at increasing the efficiency of arbitration proceedings).

Italy Small Flag Italy

No, there are not, at the moment, any impending plans to reform the arbitration laws.

United Kingdom Small Flag United Kingdom

The Law Commission is currently undertaking consultation on whether or not to amend the Arbitration Act 1996 to make it more streamlined, for example introducing Summary Judgments and allowing Trust disputes to become arbitral.

Ireland Small Flag Ireland

The Arbitration Act repealed previous arbitral legislation and put in place a unitary statute which was introduced to reform the Irish Law in order to come in line with the best international practice and given that it entered into force in 2010, which is relevantly recent, it is unlikely that there will be any new reforms in the near future.

Poland Small Flag Poland

Currently there are no impending plans to introduce significant amendments to Polish arbitration law. However, it is worth mentioning some recent key changes that were made by adoption of the ADR Amendment Act (the Act Amending Certain Acts to Encourage Amicable Methods of Dispute Resolution of 10 September 2015) and the Restructuring Law of 15 May 2015, both of which entered into force on 1 January 2016.

The ADR Amendment Act reformed the model of post-arbitration litigation. The Restructuring Law amended provisions of the 2003 Bankruptcy Law governing the effect of a declaration of bankruptcy on an existing arbitration agreement or pending arbitration proceedings.

Furthermore, material changes to the Polish arbitration law concerning disputes arising out of consumer contracts were introduced by the Act on Out-of-Court Consumer Dispute Resolution of 23 September 2016, implementing the EU Directive (2013/11/EU). The act entered into force on 10 January 2017.

Updated: February 6, 2017