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Chapter 7:15

Arbitration Act

Acts 6/1996, 14/2002; S.1. 208/1996, 262/2006.

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

  1. Short title.
  2. Law applicable to arbitrations.
  3. What may be arbitrated.
  4. Application of Act to arbitration under other enactments.
  5. Repealed Act and transitional provisions.

SCHEDULE

Model Law.

AN ACT to give effect to domestic and international arbitration agreements; to apply, with modifications, the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on the 21st June, 1985, thereby giving effect to the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards adopted in New York on the 10th June, 1958; to repeal the Arbitration Act [Chapter 7:02]; to amend the High Court Act [Chapter 7:06], and section 6 of the Prescribed Rate of Interest Act [Chapter 8:10]; and to provide for matters incidental to or connected with the foregoing.

[Date of commencement: 13th September, 1996.]

1    Short title

This Act may be cited as the Arbitration Act [Chapter 7:15].

                       2    Interpretation

  • In this Act—

“Minister” means the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act;

“Model Law” means the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on the 21st June, 1985, which is set out, with modifications, in the Schedule.

  • Any expression to which a meaning has been assigned in the Model Law shall bear the same meaning when used in this Act.
  • The material to which an arbitral tribunal or a court may refer in interpreting this Act includes the documents relating to the Model Law and originating from the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, or its working group for the preparation of the Model Law, that is to say the travaux préparatoires to the Model Law, and, in interpreting the Model Law, regard shall be had to its international origin and to the desirability of achieving international uniformity in its interpretation and application.

                       3    Law applicable to arbitrations

  • Subject to sections four and five, where the place of an arbitration is in Zimbabwe, this Act and the Model Law, as modified by this Act, shall apply to the arbitration.
  • Subject to sections four and five, where the place of an arbitration is not in Zimbabwe, articles 8, 9, 35 and 36 of the Model Law, as modified by this Act, shall apply to the arbitration.

                       4    What may be arbitrated

  • Subject to this section, any dispute which the parties have agreed to submit to arbitration may be determined by arbitration.
  • The following matters shall not be capable of determination by arbitration— (a) an agreement that is contrary to public policy; or

(b) a dispute which, in terms of any law, may not be determined by arbitration; or (c) a criminal case; or

  • a matrimonial cause or a matter relating to status, unless the High Court gives leave for it to be determined by arbitration; or
  • a matter affecting the interests of a minor or an individual under a legal disability, unless the High Court gives leave for it to be determined by arbitration; or
  • a matter concerning a consumer contract as defined in the Consumer Contracts Act [Chapter 8:03], unless the consumer has by separate agreement agreed thereto.

(3) The fact that an enactment confers jurisdiction on a court or other tribunal to determine any matter shall not, on that ground alone, be construed as preventing the matter from being determined by arbitration.

                       5    Application of Act to arbitration under other enactments

  • Subject to subsection (2), where an enactment requires any matter to be determined by an arbitrator or by arbitration in accordance with any law relating to arbitration, such requirement shall be deemed to be an arbitration agreement for the purposes of this Act.
  • Where an enactment provides for the determination of any matter by arbitration, the provisions of that enactment, to the extent that they are inconsistent with this Act, shall prevail.

                       6    Repealed Act and transitional provisions

  • Subject to this section, the Arbitration Act [Chapter 7:02] is repealed.
  • This Act shall apply to every arbitration agreement, whether made before, on or after the 13th September, 1996, and any reference in any such agreement to the Arbitration Act [Chapter 7:02] shall be construed as a reference to this Act:

Provided that, where arbitral proceedings were commenced in terms of the Arbitration Act [Chapter 7:02], they may be continued and completed in terms of that Act which shall, for such purpose, be deemed to continue in operation.

  • For the purposes of this section, arbitral proceedings shall be deemed to have commenced on the date the parties have agreed they commenced or, failing such agreement, on the date of receipt by the respondent of a

request for the dispute to be referred to arbitration.

  • This Act shall apply to every arbitral award whether made before, on or after the 13th September, 1996.

SCHEDULE (Section 2)

MODEL LAW

[This Schedule contains the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law, with modifications. The modifications appear in italics.]

CHAPTER I

GENERALPROVISIONS

Article

  1. Scope of application.
  2. Definitions and rules of interpretation.
  3. Receipt of written communications.
  4. Waiver of right to object.
  5. Extent of court intervention.
  6. (Deleted)

CHAPTER II

ARBITRATION AGREEMENT

  1. Definition and form of arbitration agreement.
  2. Arbitration agreement and substantive claim before court.
  3. Arbitration agreement and interim measures by court. CHAPTER III

COMPOSITION OFARBITRALTRIBUNAL

  1. Number of arbitrators.
  2. Appointment of arbitrator.
  3. Grounds for challenge.
  4. Challenge procedure.
  5. Failure or impossibility to act.
  6. Appointment of substitute arbitrator.

CHAPTER IV

JURISDICTIONOFARBITRAL TRIBUNAL

  1. Competence of arbitral tribunal to rule on its jurisdiction.
  2. Power of arbitral tribunal to order interim measures.

CHAPTER V

CONDUCT OF ARBITRAL PROCEEDINGS

  1. Equal treatment of parties.
  2. Determination of rules of procedure.
  3. Place of arbitration.
  4. Commencement of arbitral proceedings.
  5. Statement of claimand defence.
  6. Hearings and written proceedings.
  7. Default of party.
  8. Expert appointed by arbitral tribunal.
  9. Court assistance in taking evidence.

CHAPTER VI

MAKING OFAWARD AND TERMINATION OF PROCEEDINGS

  1. Rules applicable to substance of dispute.
  2. Decision-making by panel of arbitrators.
  3. Form and contents of award.
  4. Termination of proceedings.
  5. Correction and interpretation of award; additional award.

CHAPTER VII

RECOURSEAGAINSTAWARD 34.         Application for setting aside as exclusive recourse against arbitral award.

CHAPTER VIII

RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENTOF AWARD

  1. Recognition and enforcement.
  2. Grounds for refusing recognition or enforcement.

CHAPTER I

GENERALPROVISIONS

ARTICLE I

Scope of application

  • This Model Law applies as provided in sections 3 and 4 of the Act.
  • (deleted: appears in section 3 of the Act).
  • (deleted).
  • (deleted).
  • (deleted: appears in section 4 (3) of the Act).

ARTICLE 2

Definitions and rules of interpretation

For the purposes of this Model Law—

  • “arbitration” means any arbitration whether or not administered by a permanent arbitral institution;
  • “arbitral tribunal” means a sole arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators;
  • “court” means a body or organ of the judicial system of a State;
  • where a provision of this Model Law, except article 28, leaves the parties free to determine a certain issue, such freedom includes the right of the parties to authorise a third party, including an institution, to make that determination;
  • where a provision of the Model Law refers to the fact that the parties have agreed or that they may agree or in any other way refers to an agreement of the parties, such agreement includes any arbitration rules referred to in that agreement;

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