Book Review: The Law of Arbitration

Dec 3, 2018 | 2018, Book Review, News

The Law of Arbitration
South African and International Arbitration

by PAA RAMSDEN (Second Edition) (416 pages)
Juta & Co (Pty) Ltd

The Law of Arbitration“The settlement or the solution of all disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be which
may arise… shall never be sought by either side except by pacific means”
– from the Kellogg-Briand Pact, signed by 15 nations in Paris on 27 August 1928, and later almost universally ratified. Also known as the Treaty for the Renunciation of War, for his role in its promotion US Secretary of State Frank B Kellogg was awarded the 1929 Nobel Peace Prize.

This extensively reviewed and updated second edition is a comprehensive treatise on every aspect of the law of arbitration. It will be welcomed by a broad spectrum of readers as a primary and in-depth resource for all who elect, are involved in or are required to conduct arbitrations as the preferred method of dispute resolution.

The South African Arbitration Act of 1965 came into force more than 50 years ago. The need for dispute resolution options other than formal court-based litigation has continued to grow over the years, as courts have become more congested, as the costs of litigation continue to rise, and as it has become increasingly important in many industries and circumstances to achieve certainty and finality rapidly and effectively when disputes arise.

At the outset, this book places arbitration in the context of other alternative dispute resolution approaches such as negotiation, mediation and adjudication. The South African common law, legislation and local and international case law applicable to each stage of the arbitration process is set out. These include the arbitration agreement, the appointment and powers of arbitrators, intervention by the court pending arbitration, the arbitration proceedings and making the award.

The structure and content of this book make it the ideal resource for anyone involved in arbitration to keep close and handy for instant reference. Each chapter is set out logically with subject paragraphs, headings and subheadings, all well-indexed, with footnotes, and an extensive table of domestic and international cases, South African and foreign legislation and conventions. The contact details of South African arbitration institutions are included.

The appendices to the text incorporate the Arbitration Act 42 of 1965, the Rules for The Conduct of Arbitrations (2018 edition) of the Association of Arbitrators (Southern Africa) and the (South African) International Arbitration Act 15 of 2017, together with its Schedules, being the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration and the Conciliation Rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), and the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.

The author, Peter Ramsden BSc (Civil Engineering), B Com, MBL, LLB, MSAICE, is an Advocate of the High Court of South Africa and a Professional Engineer. He serves on the panel of adjudicators and arbitrators of the President of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering. He has advised and consulted extensively both locally and abroad, and published in domestic and international journals. He is the revision author of the sixth and seventh editions of McKenzie’s Law of Building and Engineering Contracts and Arbitration (Juta 2009 and 2014) and the author of A Guide to Intellectual Property Law (Juta 2011).

The practical and professional experience of the author coupled with his academic acumen have been harnessed in the masterful way in which each topic the reader turns to is succinctly addressed with a clear and cogent explanation. Juta is to be applauded for again filling a gap on the library shelf with this timely second edition.

Review by Louis Rood BA LLB (UCT), Consultant at Fairbridges Wertheim Becker Attorneys.