Authors: Masood Ahmed
Abstract: Three decades ago, France enacted 1981 Decree1 (NCPC Decree hereinafter) on arbitration which successfully consolidated France’s position as the leading country in international commercial arbitration and firmly established Paris as the most ‘friendly’ arbitration venue for parties to elect as their seat in an international commercial arbitration. While France has been enjoying such a reputation, development in arbitration continued to develop. In the context of the interpretation of French arbitration law, a number of gaps left by the NCPC Decree have been dealt with by the French courts which have produced a significant amount of precedent. Internationally, trends in offering arbitrators greater powers in administrating arbitration procedures, moving national courts from a supervisory role to a supporting role as well as the impact party autonomy has over the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards all indicate that there is a need for a revamp of the French arbitration law. Therefore, through the amendment of the French Code of Civil Procedure, a new Decree on the reform of French arbitration law was issued on January 13, 2011 and came into effect on May 1 2011 (CCP Decree hereinafter).2 The issuance of this Decree is seen as firmly establishing France’s intention to continue to maintain its leading role in international commercial arbitration and its ambition to attract all arbitrating parties to continue to select Paris as their seat of arbitration.