On 8th May 2018, the Arbitration (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 2018 (the “Amendment Act”) comes into force, heralding the new era of Arbitration in Malaysia.
The Amendment Act follows the latest revision of the UNCITRAL Model Law and arbitral laws of leading jurisdiction in the region and worldwide.
The Amendment Act introduces important and long-awaited changes to the Arbitration Act 2005, namely:
(a) clarification of the status of an emergency arbitrator and orders / awards granted by the emergency arbitration (Section 2 and new Section 19H);
(b) reinstatement of parties’ right to choose representation by any representative, not just a lawyer (new Section 3A);
(c) a court’s power to look at the subject matter of the dispute, in deciding on arbitrability (Section 4);
(d) clarification of the requirement that an arbitration should be in writing – recognition of electronic means of communication (Section 9);
(e) comprehensive, yet balanced provisions dealing with the High Court’s and arbitral tribunal’s powers to grant interim measures (Section 11, Section 19 and new Sections 19A-19J);
(f) reinstatement of parties’ right to choose any law or rules of law applicable to the substance of a dispute and arbitral tribunal’s right to decide according to equity and conscience, if so authorized by the parties (Section 30);
(g) express provisions empowering arbitral tribunal to grant pre- and post-award interest on any sums that are in disputes (Section 33);
(h) express provisions ensuring confidentiality of arbitration and arbitration-related court proceedings (new Sections 41A and 41B);
(i) reinforcement of principles of minimum court intervention and finality of arbitral awards (repeal of Sections 42 and 43);
A detailed review of the changes introduced can be accessed here.
The full text of the Amendment Act can be viewed here.
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