The New Danish Arbitration Act - SIAR 2006-1
Joseph Lookofsky, Professor of Law, University of Copenhagen. B.A., Lehigh University. J.D., New York University School of Law. Member of the New York State Bar. Cand. jur. & Dr. jur., University of Copenhagen.
Karsten Kristoffersen, Partner, Hjejle Gersted Mogensen, Copenhagen. External lecturer of International Commercial Arbitration, University of Copenhagen. Cand. jur., University of Copenhagen, LL.M., New York University School of Law. Member of the Danish Bar Association Working Group that in 2003 prepared a consultation paper (Reform af voldgiftsloven) containing an initial proposed draft of a new Danish Arbitration Act.
Originally from: Stockholm International Arbitration Review
THE NEW DANISH ARBITRATION ACT
Joseph Lookofsky & Karsten Kristoffersen
a) Historical Background
In June of 2005 the Danish Parliament enacted an extensive revision of the Danish Arbitration Act (Voldgiftsloven: herein referred to as the ‘Danish Act’ or the ‘Act’). Replacing the original Act of 1972, the new legislation places Denmark amongst the growing number of countries that have adopted statutes based on the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (the ‘Model Law’), thus marking a welcome transition to an arbitral regime based on internationally recognised standards.
Although the Danish Parliament rarely enacts legislation based on “private” proposals, the revision of the Arbitration Act was not the result of governmental initiative. In fact, the main impetus came from the Danish Bar Association, which had set up a working group to look into the matter and to prepare a consultation paper outlining the need for reform. After scrutiny by the Justice Department and the incorporation of a few minor amendments, the Bar Association’s draft text was transformed into the Act of 2005.
The main policy reasons underlying the Act’s revision were i) to create a more modern and detailed arbitration regime, ii) to provide more extensive procedural guarantees, iii) to enact legislation compatible with international standards, and iv) to make arbitration a more attractive dispute resolution alternative in both national and international contexts.