Arbitration Friendliness of the National Courts Really a Competitive Edge?

Arbitration And The National Court

Arbitration And The National Court

Since its inception as a binding dispute resolution method, arbitration has been generally perceived to be a more efficient method to the national courts. There is indeed a level to the truth to that as many cases taken to the tribunal were decided within the institution.

The acceptance of arbitration by major jurisdictions and almost every state over the decades have been highly positive, and while this is a real positive in almost every way, it has also led to a level of illusion among many individuals and institution. For many Arbitration advocates, the belief is that the institution has final and binding authority for settling disputes, and not even the national courts can rescind one once concluded.

The misinterpreted belief on this level of Autonomy is reinforced in the American Law Institute’s Tentative Draft Number 1 of the Restatement of the U.S. Law of International Commercial Arbitration. The draft states that arbitration is an effective dispute resolution process in which disputing parties surrender power to an arbitral tribunal for a fair resolution that is both final and binding. 

The major phrase “final and Binding” has continued to show that arbitration decisions are unchallenged when made and an award issued. However, this is not the reality, as arbitration does answer to the state laws enforced by the National courts. Granted, arbitration has most of the powers and would really never seek the court’s guidance, but it is indeed possible for the courts to interfere on an issued award if the part on the wrong end does not feel had been granted.

The Arbitral System: The Sphere of Influence of the National Court, Arbitration, And Their Coexisting Relationship 

The national court plays a lot of roles in arbitration decisions, making the latter a fully independent system in its own right. However, the court’s influence is not to intimidate arbitral rulings but to complement it.

The Sphere of Influence of National Courts in Arbitration

The National court of any jurisdiction is usually given a level of influence over arbitration, but this influence is rarely used so that Arbitration rulings are easily set aside. Usually, if an aggrieved party feels that it has been dealt with wrongly after an award is issued, most jurisdiction allows the court to look into the issue once it is tendered to them by the aggrieved party. After a thorough investigation, the court may uphold the ruling o the arbitration or set it aside.

In most cases, setting aside an award is extremely rare, and the court will need to have extremely undeniable evidence that there is decision-altering bias. According to the UNCITRAL model law, it is expressly stated in Art 16 that the National court can only intervene on the basis of supervising and Assisting arbitration cases. This law gives them the power to uphold or render an award null and void.

However, the National Court does more of Assisting than undermining the Arbitration system. In fact, some jurisdictions give arbitral tribunals independence, as agreed by the disputing parties, to resolve disputes from beginning to end. In most cases, Arbitration rulings are indeed binding if the parties accord that power to the Arbitral tribunal. 

Due to the assistance that the National court offers the arbitration system, it is naturally assumed that it is both are friendly towards the other.    

The National courts have their sphere of influence on arbitration, but from all indications, its influence is not to undermine arbitrators’ decisions but rather to uphold it and ensure that it is binding. Only in exceptionally rare cases of obvious misconduct by arbitrators will the National court rule annul an award.  

Is Arbitration Friendliness of the National Courts Really a Competitive Edge?

Naturally, arbitration poses itself as an efficient solution and reliable alternative for settling disputes, and so far so good the system has been able to do just that. From the discussion above, it is evident that the National court is not stationed to fight off arbitration as a competitor, even if their positions as decision makers in official matters make them pose against each other as serious rivals. 

The fact that disputing parties would prefer arbitration tribunals over going to court is an advantage that the system has over the court. Also, the fact that the court tends to complement Arbitral rulings and would only challenge an award if there is obvious evidence of bias makes arbitration more appealing.

Disputing parties usually want cases solved immediately and would very much prefer that they attend to cases in their own time. Arbitration offers both of those, and its friendliness with the national courts only makes it more appealing, giving it a slight competitive edge.

Attorneys and lawyers are very much aware of these competitive edges and have even begun to take arbitration as a career. In recent times, it is not uncommon to see well achieved professional attorneys serving as arbitrators due to how well the public is embracing the system.

Of course, it would only be an illusion not to recognize that arbitration still needs some reforms that could make it better, much more independent, and powerful. But even with what it already stands for in most jurisdictions, it is a much more preferable option to the National courts, and the fact that the National courts are friendly to the system only makes it better.


Fully understanding arbitration is the key to enhancing the opportunity it represents as a system of justice and dispute resolution. In most cases, though, you will need a guiding hand to help you get all the information you need to avoid plunging into what you do not have the greatest information about. 

Usually, the best way to get the most out of arbitration as a dispute resolution process is to work with or hire professional arbitrators who are well-grounded in the institution’s workings and are extremely willing to help clients come out of a dispute in the best possible outcome.

One of the top firms with extremely professional Arbitration professionals is Rattsakuten, a leading firm with some of the most skillful arbitrators in Sweden. This firm is made up of highly qualified professionals who have built a reputation for themselves as among the best in Europe. You can reach the firm by calling them for more inquiries.

About Rattsakuten

Rattsakuten is a leading law firm focused on Commercial Arbitration and Dispute Resolution. Based in Sweden, Rattsakuten handles dispute resolution and Arbitration matters before the SCC (Swedish Chamber of Commerce), ICC, HKIAC, and several other Arbitration tribunals.

Fredrik Jörgensen

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