On Arbitral Jurisdiction. How to Deal with the Complementarity between Arbitral Tribunals and the Courts
Global Jurist, 2018 Forthcoming
39 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2018
Date Written: June 6, 2018
Why might one argue that the arbitral tribunal should have the “competence” to rule, as of right, upon its own jurisdiction? Is this natural power consistent with the legitimacy of arbitration? Can it unquestionably achieve the greatest level of efficiency for the parties?
Although a considerable body of literature has attempted to answer these questions, this article aims to address (and partially reframe) the core issues relating to arbitral jurisdiction by comparing different legal systems and operative solutions in order to search for new and valuable insights on the topic. There is no doubt, in fact, that the orthodox position traditionally starts from the assumption that access to the courts within parallel proceedings, which (also) questions the allocation of jurisdiction, is problematic also due to the risk of delaying tactics by one party. According to this line of reasoning, when the authority of the arbitrators is challenged, the balance between the legitimacy and the efficiency of the arbitration process could be conditioned by prejudices relating to the (necessary) interference of the courts with the power of the arbitral tribunal to determine its own potestas judicandi (or its lack thereof) on the merits.
In an attempt to move on from the classical framing of this issue and towards a comparative evaluation of the rationales and values underlying domestic legislation on arbitral jurisdiction, considered also with reference to the provisions of the UNCITRAL Model Law, this article will seek to provide a solution that is rooted in the complementary role of the courts and of arbitral tribunals. The complementarity between arbitral tribunals and the courts will be shown to be key in securing the legitimacy of arbitration and the actual pre-eminence of this source of alternative private justice and, accordingly, also as a way of striking the optimum balance with the efficiency of the arbitration process.
Keywords: Arbitration, Kompetenz, Kompetenz, Negative Effect Doctrine, Comparative Law, UNCITRAL Model Law
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