HC Deb 22 July 1997 vol 298 c503W
Mr. Rowlands

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what are the key functions of the advisory committee on arbitration law; when the committee was established; by what authority; and if she will list the names of the chairman and the Secretary. [9632]

Mr. Nigel Griffiths

The departmental advisory committee on arbitration law was set up in March 1985 by the then Secretary of State with the following terms of reference(i) To consider the draft model law on international commercial arbitration adopted by a working group of the United Nations commission on international trade law in February 1984 and, in the light of any representations made by British interests, to advise the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry: (a) Upon any modification which the committee consider should be proposed by Her Majesty's Government to the text of the draft model law prior to its adoption by the commission; (b) If and when a model law is adopted by the Commission, upon whether, and to what extent, the provisions of the model law should be implemented in England and Wales and upon what associated changes should be made to the law of England and Wales: (ii) To examine the operation of the Arbitration Acts 1950 to 1979 in the light of the model law and to recommend to the Secretary of State any legislative or other steps which the committee considers should be taken to improve the system of arbitration in England and Wales; (iii) To advise the Secretary of State, where appropriate, upon the implications which any changes resulting from their recommendations for arbitration in England and Wales may have for arbitration in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The DAC's formal work came to an end in January 1997 with commencement in England, Wales and Northern Ireland of the Arbitration Act 1996. The most recent chairman was Lord Justice Saville, now Lord Saville, and the secretariat was provided by the Department of Trade and Industry. A separate committee under the chairmanship of Lord Dervaird is considering aspects of Scottish arbitration law.