I. INTRODUCTION: ARBITRATION IN THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA – HISTORY AND INFRASTRUCTURE
A. History and Current Legislation on Arbitration
1. Historical evolution of law relating to arbitration
The Korean Arbitration Act (“KAA”) was enacted in 1966 and partly amended in 1973. With the growth of arbitration as a choice for dispute resolution in the Republic of Korea (“Korea”), the KAA was completely overhauled and was newly implemented on 31 February 1999. During the overhaul of the KAA, there was much debate as to whether Korea should adopt the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration in its entirety. Those in favour argued that a complete adoption would benefit the reputation of Korea as an arbitration friendly nation. However, the final version of the 1999 KAA adopted most, but not all, of the UNCITRAL Model Law due to public policy reasons.
2. Current law
Domestic and international arbitrations are governed by the KAA and there is no practical distinction between the two.
3. Law reform projects
The KAA implemented on 31 February 1999 is the law in force in Korea governing all arbitrations. No substantive reforms are envisaged at the moment.