Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Should the courts assess the merits of a dispute referred to arbitration?

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posted on 2021-11-15, 07:31 authored by Sharpe-Davidson, Edward

Article 8(1) of Schedule 1 of the Arbitration Act 1996 requires courts to stay proceedings brought on a matter which is the subject of an arbitration agreement except where there is in fact no dispute. The Court of Appeal in Zurich v Cognition interpreted this exception as allowing the courts to assess whether the defendant has an arguable defence to the summary judgment proceedings brought against it. By allowing the court to assess the merits of a dispute referred to arbitration New Zealand is inconsistent with the theoretical and international understandings which require the independence of international arbitration. Court proceedings on a matter referred to arbitration have the potential to rob the parties of the benefits of persisting with arbitration. It is therefore necessary to consider alternatives to art 8(1) which are principally, comparatively and practically sound.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Name

LL.B. (Honours)

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970118 Expanding Knowledge in Law and Legal Studies

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Research Paper or Project



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Law


McLachlan, Campbell