A new statutory regime for arbitration within Scotland has been introduced by the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010 (the “Act”) which came into force on 7 June 2010.

Contractual provisions referring disputes to arbitration in Scotland should be reviewed in light of the Act, which introduces a new set of Scottish Arbitration Rules, some of which apply by default but which can be contracted out of by the parties (“discretionary rules”), while others are mandatory. Contracting parties using arbitration are therefore advised to familiarise themselves with the mandatory rules and decide to what extent the discretionary rules are appropriate for their contracts.

The Scottish branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators has introduced a set of short-form arbitration rules which replace the discretionary rules where they are used and which are designed to provide a simplified arbitration procedure appropriate for consumers and small businesses.