Volume 30 (2013) / Issue 2
While anchored in the arbitral tradition of the Hanbali madhhab, the new Saudi arbitral law represents a modernization of the existing arbitral regime in the Kingdom by incorporating 'arbitration-friendly' principles of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law. While arbitrators and parties must respect the tenets of Shari'a in numerous areas of procedure and substance, the new law removes the supervisory role afforded to local courts under the previous 1983 Law and 1987 Executive Regulation. In addition, the new Law expressly provides for the separability of the arbitration clause and allows the parties to choose the applicable law, procedure, venue, arbitrators and other procedural questions. The new Law will encourage a more welcoming arbitration environment, one in which Saudi Arabia is a viable choice for litigants involved in irreconcilable disputes in the Kingdom.
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