Arbitration Law Monthly

Stay of proceedings: the scope of the obligation to stay

Section 9(1) of the Arbitration Act 1996 provides that: "Aparty to an arbitration agreement against whom legal proceedings are brought ... in respect of a matter which under the agreement is to be referred to arbitration may ... apply to the court in which the proceedings have been brought to stay the proceedings so far as they concern that matter". There is conflicting authority on the meaning of the word "matter" as used in section 9.

In Republic of Mozambique v Privinvest Shipbuilding SAL (Holding) and Others [2023] UKSC 32; [2023] 2 Lloyd's Rep 564, the first case to reach the Supreme Court on the scope of section 9, it was decided that the term should be given a narrow meaning and should be confined only to issues that form the substance of the claim.

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