Kompetenz-Kompetenz and Its Negative Effect — A Comparative View
37 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2017
Date Written: September 11, 2017
The paper deals with the “negative-effect”-of-Kompetenz-Kompetenz doctrine in some of the major arbitration venues, France, Germany, Switzerland, the U.S., England and Canada (Quebec). The negative effect doctrine refers to the circumstances under which a national court, before which a case is pending, will refrain (or not) from a full review of whether an alleged arbitration agreement (requiring arbitration of the parties’ dispute) exists as between the parties, is valid, and covers the dispute — in deference to allowing the arbitrators to decide those issues in the first instance. Although national jurisdictions universally accept the “positive” Kompetenz-Kompetenz doctrine — under which arbitrators are authorized to decide their own jurisdiction, although not with finality — they follow dramatically different approaches to the “negative-effect” issue. After canvassing and analyzing how the major jurisdictions just mentioned approach the negative-effect doctrine, the paper closes with some suggestions for what it proposes as a “best practices” approach to the subject.
Keywords: arbitration, Kompetenz-Kompetenz, negative effect doctrine, New York Convention, UNCITRAL Model Law
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