The quest for effective arbitration : new developments in South Africa and Germany

Afflerbach, Kai (2002-03)

Thesis (LLM)--Stellenbosch University, 2002

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Arbitration is widely regarded as an important alternative to litigation, particularly for international commercial disputes. However, concern currently exists that arbitration is becoming too slow and too expensive, partly through using procedures too similar to those in the courts. Effective arbitration requires suitable legislation, the support of the parties and their lawyers and appropriate initiatives from the arbitral tribunal. The UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration of 1985 is the internationally accepted standard against which the quality of a nation's legislation for international commercial arbitration must be measured. A crucial aspect regarding suitable legislation is the role of the courts. This thesis is essentially concerned with steps which have been taken or need to be taken in Germany and South Africa to achieve effective arbitration. It commences with a brief overview of the sort of delaying tactics which are often encountered in international arbitration practice, including abuse of the court's powers of supervision and intervention. The reception in Germany and South Africa of the UNCITRAL Model Law is then discussed. In Germany it has been adopted for both domestic and international arbitration. The South African Law Commission has recommended its adoption in South Africa for international arbitration. The Law Commission has however recommended a new separate statute for domestic arbitration because of the perceived need for remedial measures to ensure improved arbitration procedures. The thesis then examines the effect of the court's powers on effective arbitration, particularly prior to the award. The current South African law is discussed as well as the changes proposed by the Law Commission in the context of domestic and international arbitration. The South African position is compared with that in Germany, both before and since the introduction of the UNCITRAL Model Law in 1998. After a general discussion of the powers of the court in the context of arbitration, two aspects are identified for special attention. The first is the power of the tribunal to rule on its own jurisdiction and the interaction between the powers of the court with those of the tribunal in this regard. The second concerns the granting of interim measures in the context of arbitration proceedings, with particular attention to security for costs. In certain circumstances, and depending on the applicable rules and legislation, it may be more appropriate for a party to seek such relief from the tribunal, whereas in slightly different circumstances it may be preferable to seek such relief from the court. Finally, steps are considered, which can usefully be taken by the arbitral tribunal itself to promote effective arbitration by using the flexibility of the process. The extent to which the tribunal is "master of its procedure" and thereby able to counter delaying tactics effectively is subject to the doctrine of party autonomy. Specific techniques for more effective arbitral procedures are suggested, namely a more interventionist approach, the use of preliminary meetings, imposing timetables, improving the hearing, the effective use of documentary evidence and discovery and finally the possibility of documents-only arbitration.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Arbitrasie word wyd beskou as 'n belangrike alternatief tot litigasie, veral by internasionale handelsgeskille. Kommer bestaan egter tans dat arbitrasie te stadig en te duur word, gedeeltelik deur die gebruik van prosedures wat te veel met dié van die howe ooreenstem. Doeltreffende arbitrasie vereis geskikte wetgewing, die ondersteuning van die partye en hulle regsverteenwoordigers en toepaslike inisiatiewe deur die arbitrasietribunaal. Die "UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration" van 1985 is die internasionaal aanvaarde standaard waarteen die gehalte van 'n land se wetgewing vir internasionale kommersiële arbitrasie gemeet moet word. 'n Kritieke oorweging by geskikte wetgewing is die rol van die howe. Hierdie tesis behandel die stappe wat in Duitsland en Suid-Afrika reeds geneem is of wat nog geneem moet word om doeltreffende arbitrasie te bewerkstellig. Dit begin met 'n kort oorsig oor die soort vertragingstaktiek wat dikwels in die internasionale arbitrasiepraktyk raakgeloop word, insluitende misbruik van die hof se bevoegdhede van toesighouding en inmenging. Die ontvangs van die "UNCITRAL Model Law" in Duitsland en Suid-Afrika word bespreek. Die wet is in Duitsland vir sowel binnelandse as internasionale arbitrasie ingevoer. Die Suid-Afrikaanse Regskommissie het sy invoering vir internasionale arbitrasie in Suid-Afrika aanbeveel. Die regskommissie het egter 'n nuwe afsonderlike wet vir binnelandse arbitrasie aanbeveel weens die gewaarde behoefte aan regstellende middele om verbeterde arbitrasieprosedures te verseker. Die tesis ondersoek daarna die uitwerking van die hof se bevoegdhede op doeltreffende arbitrasie, veral voor die arbitrasietoekenning. Die huidige Suid-Afrikaanse reg en die wysigings, wat deur die Regskommissie vir internasionale en binnelandse arbitrasie voorgestel word, word oorweeg. Die Suid-Afrikaanse posisie word met dié van Duitsland, voor en na die invoering van die "UNCITRAL Model Law" in 1998, vergelyk. Na 'n algemene bespreking van die hof se bevoegdhede in die samehang van arbitrasie word twee sake vir besondere aandag gekies. Die eerste is die bevoegdheid van die arbitrasietribunaal om oor sy eie jurisdiksie te beslis en die wisselwerking tussen die hof se bevoegdhede en dié van die arbitrasietribunaal in hierdie verband. Die tweede het betrekking op die toestaan van tussentydse regshulp in die samehang van arbitrasieverrigtinge, met besondere verwysing na sekuriteit vir koste. In besondere omstandighede, met inagneming van toepaslike reëls en wetgewing, behoort 'n party verkieslik sodanige regshulp by die arbitrasietribunaal aan te vra, terwyl in effens ander omstandighede behoort die partyeerder die hof te nader. Ten slotte word stappe oorweeg wat nuttig deur die arbitrasietribunaal self geneem kan word om doeltreffende arbitrasie aan te moedig deur die buigsaamheid van die arbitrasieproses te benut. Die mate waarin die tribunaal meester van sy prosedure is en daardeur vertragingstaktiek doeltreffend kan bekamp, is onderworpe aan die leerstuk van partyoutonomie. Bepaalde tegnieke word voorgestelom meer doeltreffende arbitrasieprosedures te bevorder, naamlik 'n meer intervensionistiese benadering, die gebruik van reëlingsvergaderings, die oplegging van 'n rooster vir die arbitrasie, verbetering van die verhoorproses, die doeltreffende gebruik van skriftelike getuienis en blootlegging en laastens die moontlikheid van arbitrasie slegs op dokumente.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/53153
This item appears in the following collections: