Linklaters participates in House of Lords hearing on the Arbitration Bill

As previously reported in ArbitrationLinks, the legislation designed to bring about certain changes to the Arbitration Act 1996 (the AA) is currently progressing through the UK parliament. In February, Matthew Weiniger KC, our Global Chair of International Arbitration, had the honour of attending the House of Lords to participate in the hearings on its drafting.

The Arbitration Bill is intended to implement the recommendations made by the Law Commission in its Final Report on proposed amendments to the AA, that followed its earlier consultations in 2022-23. In terms of parliamentary process, the Bill originated in the House of Lords late last year and was subject to a short debate in December 2023 before being referred to a Special Public Bill Committee (as is usual for Law Commission Bills) in January.

The job of the Committee is, ultimately, to consider the Bill line-by-line and suggest any amendments that it regards as necessary before returning the Bill to the House of Lords for its Report stage.

As part of this, the Committee was empowered to take evidence during a limited period of time; a process which was carried out from late-January to late-February. This began with a window for written submissions and was followed up with oral hearings at which a limited number of prominent practitioners, academics, judges and representatives from industry were invited to field questions concerning technical aspects of the Bill’s drafting (in particular, the implementation of its proposals concerning applicable law of an arbitration agreement, and challenges to a tribunal’s award on its jurisdiction). These attendees included our own Matthew Weiniger KC who was honoured to be invited to, and to attend, a panel session held on Wednesday 21 February.

Information concerning the Committee’s work, including submissions it has received, can be viewed here. Videos of the oral evidence sessions, including Matthew’s appearance, can be found on: