The Arbitration and Party Autonomy: A Comparative Review between the English Law, the UNCITRAL Model Law and the Qatari Law

Dr. Husam Botosh
Associate Professor of Commercial Law – Head of Private Law Department – College of Law – University of Qatar


The aim of this paper is to review the position of the UK Arbitration Act 1996, the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration 1985 as well as the new Qatari Arbitration Act 2017 in regards to the commencement of arbitration and the time constraints placed on the party’s during the arbitration and party autonomy. The emphasis of this paper will focus on whether these legal bodies support the rule that parties who submit their international commercial dispute to arbitration are autonomous or not?
The paper will also determine which party should be responsible for the commencement of arbitration, whether that is the court, the arbitration panel or both parties. Whilst doing so, the question of why the National courts have restricted party autonomy in domestic arbitration unlike with international arbitration, where party autonomy is unrestricted will be explored in terms of whether this is a justifiable advantage and to be encouraged into the practice of modern arbitrators.
Both the party autonomy and commencement of arbitration are examined within the three legal regimes mentioned above.
The paper consists of five sections exploring party autonomy; commencement day of arbitration; time restrictions; limitations to court interventions and finally exceptions to court interventions all as apply within the three legal bodies.
Keywords: The UK Arbitration Act 1996, the Qatari Arbitration Act 2017, the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration 1985, Commencement of Arbitration, Party Autonomy.

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