Party autonomy is the overarching principle of arbitral proceedings.

Parties are free to agree on the:

  • number of arbitrators;
  • procedural rules;
  • place of arbitration;
  • language of the proceedings; and
  • the timeline for written submissions and hearings.

The dispute resolution clause in the agreement between the parties will usually specify the procedural rules that are to govern the arbitral proceedings, the law of the arbitration and the seat of the arbitration.

After a request for arbitration is made, the arbitral panel will, in consultation with the parties, settle terms of reference and directions will be made for the provision of a statement of claim, defence and evidence.

The UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration, 2006 empowers an arbitral tribunal to award interim relief to secure the status quo, protect the arbitral proceedings, freeze assets and preserve evidence (Article 17(1) & (2)).