Commercial and Maritime Law in China and Europe

Chapter 9

Page 122

Compulsory Consolidation in Arbitral Proceedings: An Infringement on Party Autonomy?

Lijun Liz Zhao1 and Catherine Green2

I Introduction

International commercial transactions are often complex, involving multiple parties and multiple contracts. Under many circumstances, the parties are domiciled in various countries. Maritime trade transactions are no exception. As such, commercial and maritime disputes can regularly involve a number of parties from different jurisdictions. The 2014 OW Bunker bankruptcy3 and the 2021 Suez Canal Obstruction demonstrate the point.4 This can give rise to parallel proceedings involving inter-related contracts, the same or some of the same parties and related issues in dispute, but with no single arbitration agreement binding all parties to that series of contracts which would otherwise result in a single arbitration proceeding.

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