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Court Judges As Arbitrators

The Technology and Construction Court judge as arbitrator in General

Section 93(1) of the Arbitration Act 1996 (“the Arbitration Act 1996”) provides that a judge of the Technology and Construction Court (previously an Official Referee) may “if in all the circumstances he thinks fit, accept appointment as a sole arbitrator or as an umpire by or by virtue of an arbitration agreement.” Judges of the Technology and Construction Court may accept appointments as sole arbitrators or umpires pursuant to these statutory provisions. the Arbitration Act 1996 does not limit the appointments to arbitrations with the seat in England and Wales. However, a Technology and Construction Court judge cannot accept such an appointment unless the Lord Chief Justice “has informed him that, having regard to the state of (Technology and Construction Court) business, he can be made available”: see section 93(3) of the Arbitration Act 1996. In exceptional cases a judge of the Technology and Construction Court may also accept an appointment as a member of a three-member panel of arbitrators if the Lord Chief Justice consents but such arbitrations cannot be under section 93 of the Arbitration Act 1996 because section 93(6) of the Arbitration Act 1996 modifies the provisions of the Arbitration Act 1996 where there is a judge-arbitrator and this could not apply to arbitral tribunals with three arbitrators, one of whom was a judge-arbitrator. Application should be made in the first instance to the judge whose acceptance of the appointment is sought. If the judge is willing to accept the appointment, he will make application on behalf of the appointing party or parties, through the judge in charge of the Technology and Construction Court, to the Lord Chief Justice for his necessary approval. He will inform the party or parties applying for his appointment once the consent or refusal of consent has been obtained. Subject to the workload of the Technology and Construction Court and the consent of the Lord Chief Justice, the Technology and Construction Court judges will generally be willing to accept such requests, particularly in short cases or where an important principle or point of law is concerned. Particular advantages have been noted by both TECBAR and TeCSA in the appointment of a Technology and Construction Court judge to act as arbitrator where the dispute centres on the proper interpretation of a clause or clauses within one of the standard forms of building and engineering contracts.



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  • Article Name: Court Judges As Arbitrators
  • Author: Esme Anderson
  • Description: The Technology and Construction Court judge as arbitrator in General Section 93(1) of the Arbitration Act 1996 ("the [...]

This entry was last updated: June 2, 2020

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