MONDAQ (United Kingdom) Comparative Guide about International Arbitration

1.1. What is the relevant legislation on arbitration in your jurisdiction? Are there any significant limitations on the scope of the statutory regime – for example, does it govern oral arbitration agreements?

The following laws govern arbitration in Pakistan:

• the Arbitration Act, 1940;

• the Arbitration (International Investment Disputes) Act, 2011; and

• the Recognition and Enforcement (Arbitration Agreement and Foreign Arbitral) Act, 2011.

The Arbitration Act is the prime statute relating to arbitration in Pakistan. The Arbitration (International Investment Disputes) Act was promulgated to implement the International Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of other States Act; while the Recognition and Enforcement Act was promulgated to implement the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, 1958.

Section 2(a) of the Arbitration Act defines an ‘arbitration agreement’ as “a written agreement to submit present or future differences to arbitration, whether an arbitrator is named therein or not”. Therefore, the act recognises only written agreements.

1.2 Does this legislation differentiate between domestic arbitration and international arbitration? If so, how is each defined?

The Arbitration Act does not differentiate between domestic and international arbitration. The Recognition and Enforcement Act provides for the recognition and enforcement of arbitration agreements and foreign arbitral awards pursuant to the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, 1958. It is primarily a procedural law governing the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards.

1.3 Is the arbitration legislation in your jurisdiction based on the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration?

The Arbitration Act is not based on the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration.