Committee calls for strengthening of proposed arbitration legislation

18/06/2009

Proposals to reform arbitration laws in Scotland need to be strengthened, according to a report published today by the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee.

The committee’s Stage 1 report scrutinising the proposed Arbitration (Scotland) Bill calls on the Scottish Government to revisit some of the provisions in the draft legislation to allow for successful reform of arbitration laws in Scotland.

The report considers the need to reform arbitration law, the economic benefits that might derive from reforming the law and the provisions within the bill. The bill aims to clarify, consolidate and codify existing arbitration law by bringing it into a single statute which includes a set of rules to govern arbitrations in Scotland.

In its findings, the committee recognised that existing arbitration laws in Scotland lagged behind other countries and needed to be revised. It welcomed the principle of reforming the law but called on the Scottish Government to revisit some of the provisions within the bill with a view to introducing amendments at Stage 2.

Committee Convener Iain Smith said: “The committee recognises the compelling arguments for bringing forward the Arbitration (Scotland) Bill but considers that further amendments will be needed if this legislation is to achieve the laudable objectives set out for it and for it to stand the test of time.

"While the committee is of the view that the objective of increasing international and domestic arbitration is commendable, it is of the view that Scotland will need to be promoted and marketed as a destination for arbitration to achieve this.

"In its Stage 1 report, the committee has therefore called on the Scottish Government to revisit a number of provisions in the bill to ensure that this piece of legislation can deliver a modern, effective and attractive arbitration system in Scotland.”

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