Be Neutral
A Publication of the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution

 
 

 

Executive Summary:
Proposed Revisions to Georgia抯 International Commercial Arbitration Law

The Atlanta International Arbitration Society recommends revising Georgia law to enhance the State抯 standing as a venue for international arbitrations. This executive summary explains the purpose and substance of this revision.

Arbitration is the preferred method of dispute resolution in international commerce.  In an effort to make their legal climates more attractive for international business, many individual U.S. states and most countries have passed special international arbitration acts. Georgia was a pioneer in these efforts when it enacted the Georgia's Arbitration Code (GAC) in 1988. Article 1, Part 2 of the GAC is a set of provisions specifically applicable to international commercial arbitration (O.C.G.A. Ё  9𥑱0 9𥑲3 (G.C.A. Ё  7201 7214).

The Atlanta International Commercial Arbitration Society formed a working group of lawyers and law professors specializing in arbitration to determine whether or not the international provisions of the GAC needed revision. The working group determined that after over 20 years of developments in international arbitral practice, Georgia should adopt a version of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration. When the GAC was passed, the UNCITRAL Model Law was barely two years old. Since then, many US states and most countries have adopted some version of the Model Law, and the Model Law itself was revised in 2006. Essentially, practice has evolved, and the Model Law has become the familiar standard.

The working group conducted an extensive examination of arbitral laws and adapted a version of the Model Law that embodies the most advanced pro-arbitration framework possible. The Society recommends replacing Part 2 of the GAC with this version of the Model Law.

Substantively, the proposed law is compatible with federal arbitration law and policy, including treaties for the enforcement of arbitral agreements and awards. There are very few substantive differences from current Georgia law; however, unlike current Georgia law which relies on a combination of domestic and a few international provisions to 揻ill in the gaps in federal law, the proposed law provides a more coherent and complete stand-alone legal framework for international commercial arbitration. This includes a clear set of definitions, more detailed guidance on the selection and challenge of arbitrators, and provisions for the conduct of the arbitration when parties have either failed to adopt institutional procedural rules or create their own. The proposed law adopts several pro-arbitration elements from other states. These include the ability of the parties to choose any superior court in Georgia for judicial venue, deferring the appeal of an arbitrator抯 decision on jurisdiction until after the final award, the right to make a claim for obtaining unjustified interim relief, and the right for non-Georgia parties to opt out of grounds for judicial review of the award.

If you have any questions regarding the content of the proposed draft legislation, or if you would like to receive the latest draft of the GAC revisions, please contact Professor Douglas Yarn, Georgia State University College of Law, at dyarn@gsu.edu or 404-413-9147.













 

Professor Douglas Yarn, Georgia State University College of Law, at dyarn@gsu.edu or 404-413-9147