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ARBITRATION: Cutting to the chase

07 June 2013  

Jonathan Speed and Claire Morel de Westgaver consider whether arbitration should do more to embrace summary judgment procedures

A criticism that is often levied at international arbitration is that it does not provide for a mechanism similar to summary judgment available in many jurisdictional national courts. The debate around summary judgment procedures in international arbitration was recently re-opened. Practitioners have claimed that arbitrators should have the power to strike out unmeritorious claims or defences. Separately, there have been interesting developments in the field of arbitration in the financial services sector. In this article, we explore what opportunities there are for the industry to consider summary disposal as a means to exploit the flexibility of arbitration and make better use of the process with particular emphasis on financial disputes.