UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (1985), with amendments as adopted in 2006

General Detail

General Information

  1. Type: Model Law
  2. Date of signature:
  3. Place of signature: New York, USA
  4. Depositary:
  5. Date of entry into force: N/A


Dispute resolution

Sub category




What is it about?

The purpose of this Model Law is to assist States in reforming and modernizing their laws on arbitral procedure so as to take into account the particular features and needs of international commercial arbitration. It covers all stages of the arbitral process from the arbitration agreement, the composition and jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal and the extent of court intervention through to the recognition and enforcement of the arbitral award. It reflects worldwide consensus on key aspects of international arbitration practice having been accepted by States of all regions and the different legal or economic systems of the world. In 2006, UNCITRAL approved two amendments to the 1985 Model Law relating to the form of an arbitration agreement and interim measures to amend the Model Law.

Why is it relevant?

The Model Law sets out a legal regime aimed at international commercial arbitration without affecting any relevant legal treaty in force in the State adopting the Model Law. Its intention is to provide support for the arbitral process based on respect for party autonomy. The Model Law was developed to address the considerable disparities in national laws on arbitration. The need for improvement and harmonization was based on findings that national laws were often inappropriate for international cases. The expectations of parties to an arbitration agreement referring to a chosen set of arbitration rules or an “ad hoc” arbitration agreement might be frustrated by national laws which affected the parties’ ability to submit future disputes to arbitration, select the arbitrator freely or have the arbitral proceedings conducted according to the agreed rules of procedure and with no more court involvement than appropriate. The approach and principles taken in the Model Law are aimed at reducing or eliminating these concerns and difficulties.

Additional Information

As a model law, the text is recommended to States for enactment as part of their national law. The Model Law includes an explanatory note which provides background information to assist States in preparing the necessary legislative provisions and gives useful insights to other users of the text such as judges and practitioners. The 1985 Model Law was revised in 2006 (see above). All related documents, including information on the status of the Model Law, are available at http://www.uncitral.org

  • United Nations Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (10 June 1958) UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules (1976) UNCITRAL Conciliation Rules (1980) UNCITRAL Notes on Organizing Arbitral Proceedings (1996) UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Conciliation (2002)


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