Is the law governing international arbitration in your country based on the UNCITRAL Model Law? Are there significant differences between the two?

International Arbitration

Egypt Small Flag Egypt

The Egyptian Arbitration Law is based on the UNCITRAL Model Law. There are some differences, basically in the distinction between domestic arbitrations and international commercial arbitrations (see 1. above).

Austria Small Flag Austria

Yes. Since 2006, Austria is a ‘model law country’. As regards the structure save for a few national particularities, Austrian law is largely based on the UNCITRAL Model Law. In particular, the Austrian arbitration law equally applies to international and domestic arbitrations and further does not distinguish between commercial and non-commercial matters. The legislator introduced specific provisions for consumer and employment related disputes.

France Small Flag France

French law on arbitration is not based on the UNCITRAL Model Law. However, French law provisions applicable in international arbitration are no less favourable and are even substantially more liberal than the UNCITRAL Model Law in some respects – for example, with regard to the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards made abroad or in international arbitration.

Portugal Small Flag Portugal

Portugal adopted the UNCITRAL Model Law (the Model Law) through the Arbitration Act (Law No. 63/2011, 14 December), thus bringing the Portuguese arbitration voluntary law closer to the UNCITRAL Model Law. The Arbitration Act contains other solutions – complying nevertheless with the Model law - tested within the context of the previous arbitration law.

Romania Small Flag Romania

Romania does not have a UNCITRAL Model Law-based legislation; however, the institutions within the newly enacted legislation follow the lines and spirit of UNCITRAL Model Law, but a specific analysis of each provision would have to be performed in order to determine the exact influence of the Model Law.

Sweden Small Flag Sweden

The Arbitration Act is not directly based on the UNCITRAL Model Law. However, the Model law was considered in the preparation of the Arbitration Act enacted in 1999. No major differences exist. The draftsmen of the new Arbitration Act have pointed out that it was seen urgent that the provisions of the Model Act should be considered in the drafting of every part of the new Arbitration Act (not yet in force).

New Zealand Small Flag New Zealand

Yes. Schedule 1 of the Act, which applies to all arbitrations (international or domestic) seated in New Zealand, follows the UNCITRAL Model Law closely, including the 2006 amendments. The purposes of the Act include promoting international consistency between arbitral regimes based on the Model Law and promoting consistency between international and domestic arbitration regimes (section 5). In interpreting the Act, New Zealand’s judiciary has also been alive to the aim of the Model Law to promote international harmonisation. See, for instance, the decision of the Supreme Court in Zurich v Cognition Insurance [2015] 1 NZLR 383 at [40].

Switzerland Small Flag Switzerland

Neither the PILA nor the CPC are based on the UNCITRAL Model Law. However, there are no fundamental differences between them.

UAE Small Flag UAE

The arbitration chapter of the CPC is not modelled on the UNCITRAL Model Law, and there are some significant differences between the two, especially in respect of the appointment of arbitrators, the power of the tribunal to grant interim relief, witness testimony, the rendering of arbitral awards, the annulment of awards and costs.

Malaysia Small Flag Malaysia

The foundation of the AA is the 1985 UNCITRAL Model Law. Although the 1985 Model Law was drafted primarily for international arbitration, many states, including Malaysia, have adopted the Model Law as the basis for domestic arbitration. The principles of the Model Law have largely been incorporated into the AA in their original form and phraseology.

United States Small Flag United States

Although the FAA is not based on the UNICITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (Model Law), U.S. case law is generally consistent with the Model Law. Some states have adopted the Model Law, and a number of institutional rules are either based on it or permit its application.

As noted, the FAA and the Model Law are largely analogous. But some differences do exist, most notably with respect to the specific bases for setting aside an award, the arbitral tribunal’s power to rule on its own jurisdiction, as well as some points of procedure for appointment of arbitrators. For example, while the Model Law provides that the arbitral tribunal has the power to rule on its own jurisdiction (the Kompetenz-Kompetenz principle), under U.S. law, the FAA requires courts to rule in the first instance on the jurisdiction of an arbitral tribunal unless there is clear and unmistakable evidence that the parties have agreed to submit the issue of arbitrability to the arbitrator. Such evidence has been found to exist where parties designate arbitration rules that provide that the issue of arbitrability should be decided by the arbitral tribunal. As a practical matter, then, where the arbitral rules of the major institutions are adopted, U.S. law supports the Kompetenz-Kompetenz principle.

Singapore Small Flag Singapore

Singapore has adopted the 1985 UNCITRAL Model Law, which is annexed to the IAA as the First Schedule, with the exception of Chapter VIII thereof. IAA, Section 3(1). The 2006 amendments to the 1985 UNCITRAL Model Law have not been adopted in full in Singapore, although the IAA has been amended to reflect some of the key changes made to the 1985 UNCITRAL Model Law. Specifically, the definition of an arbitration agreement in writing was expanded to include an arbitration agreement recorded in any form, including electronic communication. IAA, Section 2A(4)-(5). In addition, an effective arbitration agreement is deemed to exist if one party asserts its existence in arbitral or legal proceedings and the other party does not deny the assertion. IAA, Section 2A(6). Moreover, the Singapore courts were empowered to grant interim relief in support of foreign arbitrations. IAA, Section 12A(1)(b).

Brazil Small Flag Brazil

The Law governing international arbitration in Brazil is based on the UNCITRAL Model Law, so although not literally adopted the text of the UNCITRAL Model Law, the Law that regulates arbitration in Brazil (Law nº 9.307/96) has its genesis in the precepts of this Model Law. There aren’t significant differences between the two, but we can cite as an example of the differences between Law nº 9.307/96 and the UNCITRAL Model Law the fact that, although the exemption of statement of arbitral award is permitted by the UNCITRAL Model Law, this arrangement is contrary to Law nº 9.307/96, which provides the recital as one of the essential requirements of the award.

Canada Small Flag Canada

With the exception of Quebec, each jurisdiction in Canada has adopted the Model Law, with minor differences. Quebec law is consistent with the Model Law.

Panama Small Flag Panama

The Panama Arbitration Law is mainly based on the UNCITRAL Model Law with amendments as adopted in 2006. However, there are significant differences between the two. The main differences are the following:

  • The number of arbitrators: the default rule under the UNCITRAL Model Law is three (3) arbitrators and the default rule under the Panama Arbitration law is one (1) arbitrator.
  • The restrictions in the appointment of arbitrators: the Panama Arbitration Law contains restrictions to the appointment of arbitrators that are not included in the UNCITRAL Model Law. The Panama Arbitration Law provides that a person that has violated the Code of Ethics of an arbitration institution or that has been declared guilty of prevarication, falsehood or fraud cannot be appointed as an arbitrator; and that, for domestic arbitration proceedings, arbitrators that are not deciding the dispute as “amiable compositeurs” or “ex aequo et bono” shall be practicing attorneys-at-law.
  • Determination of the applicable law: Contrary to the UNCITRAL Model Law, which provides that “failing any designation by the parties, the arbitral tribunal shall apply the law determined by the conflict of laws rules that it considers applicable”, the Panama Arbitration Law does not force the arbitral tribunal to apply conflicts of laws rules, but rather allows it to directly apply the rules of law it considers appropriate.
  • Treatment of interim measures issued by arbitration tribunals: Contrary to the UNCITRAL Model Law, which provides for an equal treatment of interim measures indistinctly of the seat of arbitration, the Panamanian Arbitration Law does makes a distinction. Interim measures issued by arbitration tribunals seated in Panama (whether in international or national arbitration proceedings) are binding and shall be enforced automatically without review, while interim measures issued in arbitral proceedings seated outside Panama are enforced by the Panamanian courts after being recognized as enforceable foreign orders or measures by the Fourth Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of Panama.
  • Deadline for rendering the award: Contrary to the UNCITRAL Model Law, which is silent on the deadline for rendering the award, the Panamanian Arbitration Law establishes that the arbitration tribunal shall issue the final award within two (2) months after the final hearing (for domestic arbitrations) or as may otherwise be agreed to by the parties or as may be established in the applicable arbitration rules (for international arbitrations).
  • Treatment of arbitration awards: Contrary to the UNCITRAL Model Law, which provides for an equal treatment of arbitration awards in connection with their recognition, the Panamanian Arbitration Law does makes a distinction. Awards issued in proceedings seated in Panama (whether in international or national arbitration proceedings) have the same treatment as national judgments and can be enforced directly by the lower courts without prior recognition proceedings. Awards issued in arbitration proceedings seated outside of Panama can only be enforced after going through recognition proceedings (exequatur) before the Fourth Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of Panama.

Spain Small Flag Spain

Spanish Arbitration Law is profoundly based on the UNCITRAL Model Law without significant differences.

Main differences would be (i) that the number of arbitrators must be an odd number, (ii) that, when not agreed by the parties, the number of arbitrators shall be one and (iii) that there is not provision in the Arbitration Law for denying recognition and/or enforcement to foreign awards.

Turkey Small Flag Turkey

The International Arbitration Law and the relevant provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure (both as “Local Law”) are substantially based on the UNCITRAL Model Law (“Model Law”). The significant differences between the Local Law and the Model Law can be explained as below:

  • According to the Local Law, the award will be rendered within one year as of the appointment of the sole arbitrator; or, in case of the arbitrators are more than one, as of the first meeting minutes of the arbitral tribunal, unless otherwise agreed by the parties. This one year time period, can be extended with the mutual agreement of the parties or by the civil court once one of the parties apply on.
  • Although the Model Law states the arbitral tribunal will apply the law which it determines to be appropriate unless the parties do not designate the law; the International Arbitration Law states that, the validity of the arbitration agreement will be considered according to Turkish unless the parties designate the law to be applied to the arbitration agreement.

Germany Small Flag Germany

The German national arbitration law (= the Tenth Book of the German Code of Civil Procedure) incorporates almost the full text of the UNCITRAL Model Law with only minor exceptions. This is the result of a reform process in the late 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s with the objective to improve Germany’s international position as a suitable seat for arbitration proceedings.

In contrast to the Model Law, the Tenth Book is applicable to all – domestic and international – arbitration proceedings with their seat in Germany (section 1025 ZPO). Further, while article 1 (1) of the Model Law requires a dispute to be “commercial” for its arbitrability, the German national arbitration law expanded the definition and covers all kinds of arbitration proceedings, not limited to “commercial” arbitration. In general, all pecuniary claims are arbitrable. Other claims are arbitral provided that the parties would be entitled to conclude a settlement regarding the subject matter of the dispute (section 1030 (1) ZPO).

Italy Small Flag Italy

Italian law governing both national and international arbitration proceedings is the same. The only difference arises when a party wants to challenge an award. In this case, if the parties are Italian, then the Court of Appeals will, if it declares the arbitration award null and void, decide the merits of the case. However, if one of the parties is foreign, the Court of Appeals cannot decide on the merits of the case.

Italian arbitration law is not based on the UNICITRAL Model Law, however, the principles governing the Italian law that applies to arbitration proceedings are similar to those of the Model Law. The main differences are that Italian law does not contain an exclusion on the liability of arbitrators and the right of the arbitrator to grant interim measures is excluded by Italian law.

United Kingdom Small Flag United Kingdom

UNCITRAL has not been adopted but has influenced the Arbitration Act 1996 to some extent. The main differences are arbitrability, seperability, competence of the arbitral tribunal to rule on its own jurisdiction and judicial intervention at all stages in arbitral proceedings including appeals.

Ireland Small Flag Ireland

Yes, the Arbitration Act adopted the provisions of the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (2006) (“the UNCITRAL Model Law”) for arbitral proceedings where Ireland is the place of arbitration. As previously mentioned, the Arbitration Act notably adopts the UNCITRAL Model Law for both international commercial arbitrations and domestic arbitrations.

The Arbitration Act clarifies and amends the UNCITRAL Model Law in a number of matters, including the commencement of the arbitral proceedings, the provision of security for costs, the deadline for the application to set aside an award, and the default number of arbitrators.

Poland Small Flag Poland

Polish arbitration law is based on the UNCITRAL Model Law, without amendments as adopted in 2006. However, unlike the Model Law, the Polish arbitration law is not limited to international commercial arbitration, but applies to all arbitral proceedings when the place of arbitration is in Poland.

Cyprus Small Flag Cyprus

The ICA Law has adopted the UNCINTRAL Model Law of 1985 in its entirety except the fact that the ICA Law contains a definition as to which types of arbitration are considered to be “international” and “commercial”. It should be noted that the ICA Law does not incorporate any amendments made to the UNCINTRAL Model Law since 1985.

Updated: October 17, 2017