Arbitration in Myanmar is governed by the Arbitration Act 1944 (“Arbitration Act”), although this is about to be updated in 2015 as discussed below. The Arbitration Act is based on the English Arbitration Act 1934 and is closely aligned with the Indian Arbitration Act 1940. It applies to arbitrations that take place in Myanmar whether they are between two domestic parties, or a domestic party and a foreign party. The Arbitration Act sets out the essential provisions required for an arbitration to proceed, such as the definition of an arbitration agreement, the appointment of arbitrators in the event that the parties fail to agree on such appointment, and the process for challenging an arbitrator. The Arbitration Act sets out the form of an arbitral award and the manner in which an award is made, and states that an award is final and binding on the parties.
The Arbitration Act allows the Myanmar courts to support and supervise arbitration. The relevant provisions include the discretion to grant a stay of legal proceedings in favor of arbitration, and the power to grant interim orders or issue subpoenas for documents or witnesses.