Judicial

A party is entitled to an award which contains sufficient reasons to enable the court to carry out a judicial review. If an appeal is brought from the award to the court and the judge is unable to consider any question of law arising out of the award, he may order the arbitrator to state the reasons for his award in sufficient detail or to supplement the reasons given in the award. The judge can make such an order only if: A party has notified the arbitrator before the award was made that a reasoned award is required; or, there is some special reason why such a notice was not given. (Section 1 (5) and (6) of the 1979 Act). This right of appeal is severely restricted so as to prevent the abuse which had become so prevalent under the old ‘special case’ procedure. This was where it appeared that an arbitration hearing was not the best tribunal to pronounce on questions of ‘pure law’ and thus the High Court would decide the issue which was referred to it on ‘special case’. The special case would set out fully the facts and the point of law upon which the opinion of the court was required. The court would not, however, resolve the question of fact. This was still for the arbitrator to decide. The system of stating special cases received criticism as being a deliberate delaying tactic which could bring advantage from, for example, a changing exchange rate. This procedure was provided for under Section 21 of the 1950 Act. It is now only possible in respect of arbitration agreements which were entered into before the 1979 Act came into force; i.e. pre August 1979 arbitration agreements.