This module covers the principles of English arbitration law, apart from consumer arbitrations; hence the inclusion of the word "commercial" in the title. This module is a pre-requisite for Advanced Commercial Arbitration.
In commerce, arbitration is often, but not always, the preferred method of resolving commercial disputes. Disputes relating to international trade, foreign investments, insurance and reinsurance, and construction are commonly resolved by arbitration, as are disputes under a charterparty, a bill of lading or a ship sale agreement.
Arbitration agreements may make their own provision for applicable law and procedure, but often refer to arbitration under a specified set of arbitration rules. Some arbitration rules are of general application in the commercial field, such as the AAA, ICC, and LCIA rules. Others may apply to specific sectors, such as the various sets of ARIAS rules for insurance and reinsurance, the LMAA rules covering maritime arbitration other than salvage claims under Lloyd's open form, the GAFTA rules on trade of grain and feed, the FOSFA rules for trade of oilseeds, oils and fats and the Lloyd’s rules covering salvage claims.
The module covers the main principles adopted in English arbitration law. The English law was largely, but not entirely, codified in the Arbitration Act 1996, giving effect to many fundamental principles, which are accepted internationally. The application of the main provisions of the 1996 Act therefore forms the backbone of the course.
It should be remembered that standard forms providing for English law and arbitration are used widely throughout the world, and so this is a subject with global reach.