UNCITRAL arbitration


The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is a subsidiary organisation of the United Nations and was set up in 1966. UNCITRAL arbitration refers to any arbitration which is conducted under the UN Commission on International Trade Law arbitration rules.

The rules were originally designed to deal with arbitration for international trade disputes, but are now more often associated for arbitration between private individuals and sovereign states.

What does UNCITRAL Arbitration provide?

The function of the UNCITRAL Arbitration rules can be described to some degree as the international equivalent of the UK’s Arbitration Act 1996.

The rules, as well as the Act, both seek to provide a safety net for arbitration clauses which fail to specify under which governing bodies’ rules the arbitration will be administered.

There are several important differences however, which should be pointed out:

  • UNCITRAL Arbitration rules were designed for international commercial trade. This is a specific area of arbitration which requires much more specific rules
  • UNCITRAL Arbitration rules are also not binding unless the parties to an international trade agreement fail to specify in the arbitration clause what rules are to be followed. The Arbitration Act, on the other hand, has sections which are binding on all arbitration procedures, regardless of what governing body is chosen

Resolving disputes

If you are involved in a dispute and are entering arbitration, but you are unsure under which governing bodies’ rules the proceedings will be held, you should find the arbitration clause in your contract.

This clause most likely states the relevant body. If your arbitration will follow the UNCITRAL Arbitration, you should consider seeking professional advice. The rules of arbitration are not consistent and arbitration professionals have the knowledge and experience to adjust your case to the appropriate rules.

For more information on hiring an international trade lawyer, click here.

Do you need help resolving an international dispute? Do you need a solicitor qualified to deal with cross-border jurisdictional matters? Contact Law can put you in touch with a solicitor qualified and insured to deal with these matters. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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