The President of the High Court hereby issues the following Practice Direction in accordance with s.11(12) and (13) of the Civil Law and Criminal Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020.
1. This Practice Direction is intended to apply to all applications to and proceedings before the High Court concerning arbitrations under the Arbitration Act 2010, the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (the “Model Law”) and O. 56 of the Rules of the Superior Courts (as amended) (for the purposes of this Practice Direction referred to as “arbitration applications”). For the avoidance of doubt, it is intended that this Practice Direction will apply to applications to refer parties to arbitration and to stay proceedings under Article 8 of the Model Law.
Hearing of Applications in Arbitration List
2. Arbitration applications will be heard by the President of the High Court or such other judge of the High Court as may be nominated by the President under s. 9(2) of the Arbitration Act 2010.
3. Until further notice, and save where otherwise directed by the Court, arbitration applications will be heard on a hybrid basis where the judge and registrar will sit physically in court and the practitioners and litigants will have the option to attend and participate either in person in court or remotely.
4. Arbitration applications will be listed initially for directions before the Court at 10:30am each Wednesday (the “directions hearing”). The Court will give directions for the hearing of the arbitration application at the directions hearing. Parties are encouraged to attempt to agree directions in advance of the directions hearing.
5. Consent orders can be made at the directions hearing.
6. At the directions hearing, the Court will fix a date for the hearing of the arbitration application and give such other directions, and make such orders, including the fixing of time limits, as may be necessary for the determination of the arbitration application in a manner which is just, expeditious and likely to minimise the costs of the application.
Format of Papers for Arbitration List
7. The moving party in an arbitration application is responsible for providing the papers for the application to the Arbitration List Registrar.
8. Unless otherwise directed by the Court, the moving party is required to provide the papers for the arbitration application in hard and soft copy form.
9. Hard copy papers must be bound or contained in a folder and must be indexed and clearly paginated. Hard copy papers must be lodged in the List Room and not in the Central Office. Any additional papers intended to be relied upon by the moving party or by any of the other parties to the application must also be lodged in hard copy in the List Room.
10. Soft copy papers must be provided to the Arbitration List Registrar on an electronic file sharing platform or by email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the event that a party does not have access to a file sharing platform, the Arbitration List Registrar will create a file share folder for provision of the soft copy papers to the Court.
Date and Time for Lodging Papers
11. Hard copy papers must be lodged by the moving party in the List Room, marked with words “Arbitration List” and the return or adjourned date of the application, as the case may be, and for the attention of the Arbitration List Registrar, and also soft copy papers must be provided to the Arbitration List Registrar by 12 noon on the Friday preceding the directions hearing or the date for the substantive hearing of the arbitration application, as the case may be.
12. Save in exceptional cases, no additional papers will be accepted in respect of an arbitration application after 12 noon on the Friday preceding the directions hearing or the date for the substantive hearing of the arbitration application, as the case may be.
13. Any additional papers in respect of an arbitration application must also be provided in hard and soft copy by that same deadline.
Further Information Required where Application Adjourned
14. When the directions hearing in respect of an arbitration application or the substantive hearing of that application is adjourned to another date, it will be necessary for the moving party to inform the Arbitration List Registrar by 12 noon on the Friday preceding the adjourned date of the directions hearing or of the substantive hearing date, as the case may be, whether it is anticipated that the directions hearing or the substantive hearing of the application will proceed on the adjourned date and, if so, what directions or reliefs will be sought. If it is anticipated that the directions hearing or the hearing of the substantive application will be further adjourned, the moving must so inform the Arbitration List Registrar by the same deadline.
Failure to Comply with these Directions
15. A failure to comply with the directions set out in this Practice Direction in respect of an arbitration application may lead to the application being adjourned or struck out on such terms, including as to costs, as the Court may determine.
President of the High Court
14th October, 2022