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PART II.I ARBITRATION PURSUANT TO AN ARBITRATION AGREEMENT : Stay of legal proceedings

Arbitration Act 1996, Merkin and Flannery on the

PART II.I ARBITRATION PURSUANT TO AN ARBITRATION AGREEMENT : Stay of legal proceedings Stay of legal proceedings 9 . – (1) A party to an arbitration agreement against whom legal proceedings are brought (whether by way of claim or counterclaim) in respect of a matter which under the agreement is to be referred to arbitration may (upon notice to the other parties to the proceedings) apply Page 159 to the court in which the proceedings have been brought to stay the proceedings so far as they concern that matter. (2) An application may be made notwithstanding that the matter is to be referred to arbitration only after the exhaustion of other dispute resolution procedures. (3) An application may not be made by a person before taking the appropriate procedural step (if any) to acknowledge the legal proceedings against him or after he has taken any step in those proceedings to answer the substantive claim. (4) On an application under this section the court shall grant a stay unless satisfied that the arbitration agreement is null and void, inoperative, or incapable of being performed. (5) If the court refuses to stay the legal proceedings, any provision that an award is a condition precedent to the bringing of legal proceedings in respect of any matter is of no effect in relation to those proceedings. Notes Page 160 §9.0 Pre-introduction: a bit of ancient history Readers with no interest in the historical sources of arbitration should move to the next section. Those still reading may care to know that the first English statutory enactment of the idea of the courts recognising the parties’ right (and indeed their duty) to arbitrate appeared in the reign of William III, who in 1698 (when the world – and in particular the mercantile world – was poised on the edge of what we may call modernity) passed an ‘Act for Determining Differences by Arbitration’, 1 in which it was provided: 2

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