Interim Relief and Emergency Arbitration in Singapore, UK and UAE: A Comparative Review of Practices and Procedures

Dr. Chinyere Ezeoke
Senior Lecturer – Faculty of Law
University of Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia
Mr. Ananya Pratap Singh
Associate CSL Chambers – New Delhi – India


The limited powers of arbitrators in granting interim measures and the delay involved in constituting arbitral tribunals often mean that parties have to resort to the national courts, thereby undermining the objective in choosing arbitration. To deal with this, major arbitral institutions including the DIAC, SIAC and LCIA introduced expedited procedures and (for the latter two) emergency arbitration procedures for urgent interim relief where delay would otherwise prejudice a party. However, differences exist in the institutional rules and the arbitration statutes in Singapore, UK and UAE on the workings of these procedures. The paper discusses the concurrent jurisdiction of the courts and arbitral tribunals in granting interim measures and assesses the impact of the interplay of the roles. It evaluates the types of interim measures and the standards applied in granting them. Further, the nature of the decision of the emergency arbitrator and issues of enforceability are considered. It concludes with suggestions for more efficient administration of interim relief in arbitration. These include clarifying the position where relief is sought from the court which can be obtained from arbitration; providing for the standards to be satisfied for the grant of interim relief; standardizing the format in framing the decisions of emergency arbitrators and providing for the enforceability of their decisions.

Keywords: expedited procedure, emergency arbitrators, interim relief, UNCITRAL Model Law, arbitral institutions, UK, UAE, Singapore.

Read Full PDF Text (English)