was established, there was considerable dissatisfaction among the mercantile community with the delays that occurred in the disposal of commercial cases before the ordinary tribunals. But the special provision made by the judges in 1895 for the prompt trial of commercial causes to a large extent destroyed the raison d’être of the chamber of arbitration, and it did not attain any great measure of success.
(2) The court or a judge may refer any question arising in any cause or matter to an official or special referee, whose report may be enforced like a judgment or order to the same effect. This power may be exercised whether References under order of court. the parties desire it or not. The official referees are salaried officers of court. The remuneration of special referees is determined by the court or judge. An entire action may be referred, if all parties consent, or if it involves any prolonged examination of documents, or scientific or local examination, or consists wholly or partly of matters of account.
Scots Law.—The Arbitration (Scotland) Act 1894, unlike the English Arbitration Act 1889, did not codify the previously existing law, and it becomes necessary, therefore, to deal with that law in some detail. It differs in important particulars from the law of England. Although (as in England apart from the Arbitration Act 1889) there is nothing to prevent a verbal reference, submissions are generally not merely written but are effected by deed. The deed of submission first defines the terms of the reference, the name or names of the arbiters or arbitrators, and the “oversman” or umpire, whose decision in the event of the arbiters differing in opinion is to be final. Formerly, where no oversman was named in the submission, and no power given to the arbiters to name one, the proceedings were abortive if the arbiters disagreed, unless the parties consented to a nomination. But under the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 1894, s. 4, here arbiters differ in opinion, they, or, if they fail to agree on the point, the court, on the application of either party, may nominate an oversman whose decision is to be final. The deed of submission next gives to the arbiters the necessary powers for disposing of the matters referred (e.g. powers to summon witnesses, to administer oaths and to award expenses), and specifies the time within which the “decreet arbitral” is to be pronounced. If this date is left blank, practice has limited the arbiter’s power of deciding to a year and a day, unless, having express or clearly implied power in the submission, he exercises this power, or the parties expressly or tacitly agree to its prorogation. The deed of submission then goes on to provide that the parties bind themselves, under a stipulated penalty to abide by the decreet arbitral, that, in the event of the death of either of them, the submission shall continue in force against their heirs and representatives, and that they consent to the registration, for preservation and execution, both of the deed itself and of the decreet arbitral. The power to enforce the award depends on this last provision. Under the common law of Scotland, a submission of future disputes or differences to an arbiter, or arbiters, unnamed, was ineffectual except where the agreement to refer did not contemplate the decision of proper disputes between the parties but the adjustment of some condition, or the liquidation of some obligation, contained in the contract of which the agreement to submit formed a part. And by the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 1894, s. 1, an agreement to refer to arbitration is not invalid by reason of the reference being to a person not named, or to be named by another, or to a person merely described as the holder for the time being of any office or appointment. An arbiter who has accepted office may be compelled by an action in court of session to proceed with his duty unless he has sufficient cause, such as ill-health or supervening interest, for renouncing. The court may name a sole arbiter, where provision is made for one only and the parties cannot agree (Arbitration [Scotland] Act 1894, s. 2); and may name an arbiter where a party having the right or duty to nominate one of two arbiters will not exercise it (ib. s. 3). Scots law as to the requisites of a valid award is practically identical with the law of England. The grounds of reduction of a decreet arbitral are “corruption,” “bribery,” “false hold” (Scots Act of Regulations 1695, s. 25). An attempt was made to include, under the expression “constructive corruption,” among these statutory grounds of reduction, irregular conduct on the part of an arbitrator, with no suggestion of any corrupt motive. But it was definitely overruled by the House of Lords (Adams v. Great North of Scotland Railway Co., 1891, A.C. 31). The statutory definition of the grounds of reduction was intended, however, merely to put an end to the practice which had previously obtained of reviewing awards on their merits, and it does not prevent the courts from setting aside an award where the arbitrator has exceeded his jurisdiction, or disregarded any one of the expressed conditions of the submission, or been guilty of misconduct. A private arbiter cannot demand remuneration except in virtue of contract, or by implication from the nature of the work done, or if the reference is in pursuance of some statutory enactment (e.g. the Lands Clauses [Scotland] Act 1845, s. 32).
Judicial References have been long known to the law of Scotland. When an action is in court the parties may at any stage withdraw it from judicial determination, and refer it to arbitration. This is done by minute of reference to which the court interpones its authority. When the award is issued it becomes the judgment of the court. The court has no power to compel parties to enter into a reference of this kind, and it is doubtful whether counsel can bind their clients in such a matter. A judicial reference falls like the other by the elapse of a year; and the court cannot review the award on the ground of miscarriage. By the Court of Session Act 1850, s. 50, a provision is introduced whereby parties to an action in the supreme court may refer judicially any issue for trial to one, three, five or seven persons, who shall sit as a jury, and decide by a majority.
Law of Ireland.—The Common Law Procedure Act (Ireland) 1856, which is incorporated by s. 60 of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act (Ireland) 1877, and thereby made applicable to all divisions of the High Court of Justice, provides, on the lines of the English Common Law Procedure Act 1854, for the conduct of arbitrations and the enforcement of awards. Irish statute law, like that of England and Scotland, contains numerous provisions for arbitration under special enactments.
Indian and Colonial Law.—The provisions of the English Arbitration Act 1889 have in substance been adopted by the Indian Legislature (see Act ix. of 1899), and by many of the colonies (see, e.g., Act No. 13 of 1895, Western Australia; No. 24 of 1898, Natal; c. 20 of 1899, Bahamas; No. 10 of 1895, Gibraltar; No. 29 of 1898, Cape of Good Hope: s. 7 of this last statute excludes from submission to arbitration criminal cases, so far as prosecution and punishment are concerned, and, without the special leave of the court, matters relating to status, matrimonial causes, and matters affecting minors or other perons under legal disability; Trinidad and Tobago, No. 35 of 1898).
United States.—The common law and statute law of the United States as to arbitration bear a general resemblance to the law of England.
All controversies of a civil nature, and any question of personal injury on which a suit for damages will lie, although it may also be indictable, may be referred to arbitration; but crimes, and perhaps actions on penal statutes by Voluntary submissions. common informers may not. The submission may be effected sometimes by parol, sometimes by written instrument, sometimes by deed or deed poll. Capacity to refer depends on the general law of contractual capacity. The law of England as to the capacity to act as an arbitrator and as to objections to an arbitrator on the ground of interest has been closely followed by the American courts. The same observation applies as to the requisites of an award, the mode of its enforcement and the grounds on which it will be set aside. The arbitrator has a lien on the award for his fees; and—a point of difference from the English law—he may sue for them without an express promise to pay (cf. Goodall v. Cooley, 1854, 29 New Hamp. 48). At common law, a submission is generally revocable at any time before award; and it is also, in the absence of stipulation to the contrary, revoked by the death of one of the parties. Provision has been made in Pennsylvania for compulsory arbitration by an act of the 16th of June 1836 (see Pepper and Lewis, Pennsylvania Digest, tit. “arbitration”).
The rules of court also of many of the states of the United States provide for reference through the intervention of References by rule of court. the court at any stage in the progress of a litigation. Such submissions are usually declared irrevocable by the rules providing for them.
In addition to voluntary submissions and references by rules of court there are in America, as in the United Kingdom, various statutes which provide for arbitration in particular cases. Most of these statutes are founded on the 9 and Statutory arbitrations. 10 Will. III., c. 15, and 3 and 4 Will. IV. c. 42, s. 49, “by which it is allowed to refer a matter in dispute (not then in court) to arbitrators, and agree that the submission be made a rule of court. This agreement, being proved on the oath of one of the witnesses thereto, is enforced as if it had been made at first a rule of court” (Bouvier, Law Dict. s.v. “Arbitration”).
Ample provision is made in America for the arbitration of labour disputes.
Law of France.—Voluntary arbitration has always been recognized in France. In cases of mercantile partnerships, arbitration was formerly compulsory; but in 1856 (law of the 17th of July 1856) jurisdiction in disputes between parties was conferred on the Tribunals of Commerce (as to which see Code de Commerce, arts.