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Arbitration in India and UK: A Comparative Study

Arbitration is an alternative to litigation and any dispute that is civil in nature can be adjudicated through it. However, the independence to refer issues to arbitration is somewhat limited in India because the legislature has pre-existing institutions where issues are to be handled. For instance, Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) passed an order barring arbitration in matters of telecom and broadcasting as there was no scope for it under the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India act, 1997. Surprisingly the English law has not expressly defined Arbitrability in its act and this lack of definition makes it difficult to understand the concept as to which disputes are arbitrable and which in fact are not. However, the definitions extracted from various case laws state that Arbitrability depends on the civil nature of the suit and capability for legal determination and that prior agreement that dispute be referred for arbitration must exist between the parties to the dispute. Therefore, there is a very thin line of difference between arbitration in India and UK, and a comparative analysis of the two would be beneficial.