A Closer Look at the Doctrine of Separability in Arbitration

Ilijana Todorović

Abstract


In the ever-growing business world impacted by globalization, many commercial contracts nowadays contain an arbitration clause. This article focuses on the history behind arbitration as an alternative method of dispute resolution and its penetration to the forefront of mechanisms for resolving commercial disputes—with focus on England, France, and the United States. The article also delves into some of the key questions related to the relationship between an arbitration clause and the underlying contract in which it is contained. And those are the infamous separability and competence-competence doctrines. The author’s conclusion is that the efficiency of an arbitration clause is feasible only if its autonomy is entrenched and safeguarded from preventative and baseless court intervention. In that regard, the author addresses the consequences, current challenges, judicial and academic discourse, and the need for improvement when it comes to these two arbitral principles—all with the goal to provide contracting parties with forethought as to what to consider when drafting their contracts as to avoid unwelcome consequences.


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