Tag archives: Arbitration clause

Arbitration clause not void for vagueness (UK)

The UK Chancery Division held that an arbitration clause, which could be invoked over a dispute whether there had been ‘any major physical or financial change in circumstances affecting the operation’ of Tata Steel which imported goods through a Welsh port, was not void for uncertainty. The court quoted a nice passage from a previous … Continue reading

Scope of arbitration clause (UK)

The UK Chancery Division held that an arbitration clause relating to any dispute regarding a contractual undertaking to renegotiate port licensing conditions in the event of ‘any major physical or financial change in circumstances affecting the operation’ of the importer’s works, was broad enough to cover a dispute about the fees for the use of … Continue reading

Arbitrator cannot fix scope of arbitration

An arbitrator has no power to fix the scope of the arbitrator’s jurisdiction. Jurisdiction must be fixed by the terms of reference of the arbitration. Its scope must be objectively ascertainable in advance of the arbitration. An arbitrator cannot make a decision conferring jurisdiction on the arbitrator that is not possessed in law. That is … Continue reading

Arbitration by foreigners in South Africa

There is no reason why foreign companies and individuals should not arbitrate their disputes in South Africa according to South African law. The South African courts will encourage the selection of South Africa as a venue for international arbitrations. Where a dispute “arising out of” the relationship between the parties is subject to arbitration, the … Continue reading

Don’t allow arbitrators to make the contract

An arbitration clause should never be drawn so broadly that the arbitrator determines the wording of the contract.  Arbitrators should be asked to interpret contracts and not make them for the parties. The consequences of such a broad arbitration clause could be that the arbitrator imposes contract terms on the parties which they would never … Continue reading

An arbitration clause may die with the contract

A clause in a contract requiring the parties to refer their disputes to arbitration is not necessarily enforceable if the contract itself is invalid.  Every arbitration clause should be coupled with a provision that the validity of the agreement may be determined by arbitration even though the existence of the agreement itself is being questioned.  … Continue reading