Separability

In the context of dispute resolution, the principle that an arbitration (www.practicallaw.com/4-107-6426) or jurisdiction agreement which forms part of a larger agreement is not itself invalidated merely by reason of the invalidity of the larger agreement. Separability is a principle of international arbitration law adopted in most New York Convention (www.practicallaw.com/6-205-5196) countries. For example, in English arbitration law, the principle is given statutory force by section 7 of the Arbitration Act 1996 and in the US, case law at both the state and federal level confirms that arbitration agreements are separable from the main contract as a matter of state and federal law (see, for example, Prima Paint Corp v Conklin Mfg. Co., 388 U.S. 395 (1967)).

Separability is also expressly addressed in several institutional rules (such as the ICC Rules (1998 Rules, article 6.3; 2012 Rules, article 6.9); article 23 of the LCIA Rules; article 15.2 of the AAA Rules; article 21.2 of the Swiss Rules; article 23 of the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules (2010) (www.practicallaw.com/0-502-7805) and article 21.2 of the UNCITRAL Rules (1976) (www.practicallaw.com/8-503-0371)).

For more information, see Practice Notes, Separability of arbitration agreements in international arbitration (www.practicallaw.com/0-381-0021) and Jurisdictional issues in international arbitration, Separability (www.practicallaw.com/2-382-1325).

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