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Paul Todd

Arbitration is a consensual process, and explicitly a principle of the Arbitration Act 1996 is that the parties should be free to agree how their disputes are resolved. It is the internationally accepted principle of party autonomy. The English privity of contract doctrine supports party autonomy, by ensuring that only consenting parties are subject to the arbitration process. The doctrine also presents problems for arbitration, however, especially where carriage of goods by sea is concerned, problems which are not well dealt with by the relevant legislation. This chapter examines the problems, and the poor fit of the various interlocking legislative regimes.