1. On 3 December 2012, in accordance with the calendar for the arbitration set forth in Annex B to Procedural Order No.1, the Respondent submitted its Objection to Jurisdiction as well as its Application for Bifurcation. On 24 December 2012, the Claimant submitted its Answer to the Request for Bifurcation.
II. THE PARTIES' POSITIONS
2. The Parties' positions, insofar as relevant to the issue of bifurcation, are set forth below.
a) The Respondent's Position
3. The Respondent submits that it has not consented to arbitrate this dispute as the Claimant did not respect the conditions precedent for submitting a claim to arbitration under Chapter 11 of the NAFT A. The Respondent objects to the jurisdiction of the Tribunal on this ground and submits that bifurcation of this jurisdictional objection is appropriate, as it will increase the efficiency of these proceedings. In support of its submission, the Respondent relies on Article 21 (4) of the UNCITRAL Rules, which, according to the Respondent, establish the presumption that a tribunal should address jurisdictional issues as a preliminary question. The Respondent also quotes Redfern and Hunter to the effect that bifurcation of an objection to jurisdiction "enables the parties to know where they stand at an early stage; and it will save them spending time and money on arbitral proceedings that prove to be invalid".