Private International Law of Reinsurance and Insurance

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8.1 Reinsurance and insurance agreements will often contain a clause agreeing to arbitration. The aim of an arbitration agreement is, plainly, to remove a dispute from the primary jurisdiction of the state-court system, for adjudication according to a process determined or selected by the parties.1 This does not, of course, mean that the courts’ role is excluded. Rather, the courts’ role changes to that of supporting the arbitration agreement, e.g. by deciding whether or not court proceedings should be stayed because of the existence of the arbitration agreement, or to enforce the attendance of witnesses at an arbitration, or to enforce an award. The relationship between arbitration proceedings and court proceedings has aptly been described as a “relay race” in which from time to time the baton passes to the courts from the arbitral tribunal for specific reasons.2

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