The Role of Korean Courts in International Arbitration Proceedings – Procedural Issues - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 72, No. 1
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
Support and assistance from domestic courts is necessary for an arbitration proceeding to be effective and legitimate. In addition to recognizing and enforcing an arbitral award at the end of the process, courts may also be called upon to decide various issues during the arbitral proceedings, including but not limited to deciding on the validity of an arbitration agreement, appointing arbitrators or deciding upon challenges to arbitrators, or rendering urgent interim measures of protection prior to the commencement of the arbitration.
The Arbitration Act of Korea (the “Arbitration Act”) has incorporated the principles set forth in the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the “New York Convention”) and the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (the “Model Law) pertaining to the interaction between domestic courts and international arbitration proceedings. Like Article 5 of the Model Law, Article 6 of the Arbitration Act stipulates that no court shall intervene in arbitration proceedings except where so provided in the Arbitration Act.
Prior to its amendment in 2016, the Arbitration Act did not fully reflect international best practice relating to the interaction between arbitral tribunals and the courts, particularly with respect to interim measures. Courts were frequently called upon to recognize or enforce arbitration awards, but were seldom engaged in other stages of the proceedings. The recent amendments to the Arbitration Act, effective as of 30 November 2016, updated Korea’s arbitration legislation to reflect the 2006 amendments to the Model Law. This revision is expected to encourage courts to assist and support international arbitration proceedings in a more active and practical manner.