Reviewing Trends and Proposals to Recognize Oral Agreements to Arbitrate in International Arbitration Law – Vol. 16 No. 3-4

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Author: Peter Kucherepa*

Published: July 2007

Agreement to Arbitrate
Requirement of Written Form
Dispute Resolution and Litigation

Description: The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law has provided options to states to permit and recognize oral agreements to arbitrate in international arbitration law. An historical and legal analysis of the formation, interpretation and application of international arbitration instruments reveals an emergence of customary international law recognizing oral agreements to arbitrate. This analysis assists in evaluating international legislative options to recognize and enforce oral agreements to arbitrate when they can be evidenced in writing. “The written form requirement is for many a formality that is no longer justified.”
—Proposal by the Government of Mexico to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law.

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*Peter Kucherepa is a Barrister and Solicitor in Canada. He authored this paper independently, without direction or instruction, while a Legal Intern at the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNICTRAL), United Nations. Vienna, Austria. This paper does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of UNCITRAL or the United Nations.