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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance


Court confirms tribunal's jurisdiction while related foreign proceedings ongoing

18 February 2015

Under Section 32 of the Arbitration Act 1996, parties to an arbitration may request the court to make a preliminary ruling on whether the arbitral tribunal has substantive jurisdiction to hear the dispute before it if all parties agree to the application being made or the arbitral tribunal grants permission. The court will consider the application only if:

  • l the determination of jurisdiction would substantially save costs;
  • l the application is made without delay; and
  • l there is a good reason for the court (rather than the arbitral tribunal) to determine the question and such grounds are set out in the application (Sections 32(2)(b) and 32(3)).

In the recent case of Toyota Tsusho Sugar Trading Ltd v Prolat SRL, the court held that an arbitral tribunal did have jurisdiction, even though the underlying arbitration agreement was unsigned by one of the parties to the arbitration.

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