Arbitration Agreement and Arbitral Award: The Online Perspective

AuthorVandana Singh,Misha Bahmani
Published date01 June 2021
Date01 June 2021
Subject MatterArticles
Arbitration Agreement
and Arbitral Award: The
Online Perspective
Vandana Singh1 and Misha Bahmani1
Nowadays, the use of technology has lightened the workload in many sectors
to some extent. International arbitration practice has become cost-efficient.
Although the concern has been when some legal instruments are not legally
accepted, they are subjective to fulfilment of precise requirements. This reflects
that arbitration agreements, as well as arbitral awards, which are drawn online,
test whether the old provisions are beneficial or not. This article elaborates on
the challenges which prevail while providing legal acceptance to digital arbitration.
The objective is to highlight the difficulties that municipal and international systems
come across while following the procedural aspect. The use of technology and
maintaining international standards in the commercial sector globally should
encourage the practice of harmony and proper enforceability.
Arbitral award, arbitration agreement, international commercial arbitration, law,
online arbitration
Nowadays, the use of technology has become an integral part of our daily lives. In
the economic sector, it has its impact in a speedy manner, and globalism is pro-
moted properly. There has been a rapid rise in commercial activities due to glo-
balisation. With the introduction of better technology with time, globalization has
brought many countries together. The use of technology promotes higher
participation of foreign investors.1 The global market has welcomed technology
with a brighter perspective by making itself a great platform for competition.
1 Thomas Schultz, Information Technology, and Arbitration: A Practitioner’s Guide 1 (1st edn., Kluwer
Law Publication, 2006).
Journal of National
Law University Delhi
8(1–2) 45–61, 2021
© 2022 National Law
University Delhi
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/22774017221094924
1 USLLS, GGSIP University, New Delhi, Delhi, India.
Corresponding author:
Vandana Singh, USLLS, GGSIP University, New Delhi, Delhi 110078, India.
46 Journal of National Law University Delhi 8(1–2)
International commerce has been shaped properly under technology. Due to this,
it has built up a challenging atmosphere with new expectations and possibilities.
Such changes have affected the commercial sector growth, where arbitration
plays a significant role in promoting international business activities. This has led
to new challenges in the arbitration practice.2 It plays a crucial role in making this
world paperless. Not only this, but it has also encouraged the practice of having a
cost-efficient arbitration process. Disputes which are submitted to arbitration are
more complex, and to overcome the difficulties, technology has provided a fast
alternative for addressing arbitral proceedings at an international level. It can
comprise a few stages or all the stages associated with arbitral proceedings.3
Unfortunately, it has not been legally accepted in some of the important legal
instruments which have slowed the growth in the trade and commerce sector.
Among them, the debate involves that are the arbitration agreement and arbitral
awards, both require specific formatting. The concern is to find out whether the
previous laws have evolved with it or if it has put a bar on the use of technology
to make an arbitral agreement’s conclusion and the arbitral award.4 In this article,
the authors seek to highlight the legal recognition given to digital arbitration
agreement under domestic and foreign perspectives and demarcate how both have
gained their validity by fulfilling different requirements, respectively.
Digital Arbitration Agreement
In this digital world, certain issues may arise concerning the validity of the arbi-
tration agreement when it is achieved in a digital atmosphere. The authors here
depict the challenges which have come across during this process.5 For instance,
a declaration has been done through a mail or with the help of a web application
among them which is complemented through a declaration by conduct which
includes activities like ordered goods delivery. With the use of click-wrap declara-
tion, the user can now decide by selecting the option ‘agree’. This shows that in a
web application until and unless such a declaration is not made by the user, it
would not proceed further. In a browse-wrap declaration, when the user clicks on
any option, it downloads the concerned file or accesses the website under the
displayed terms.6
Interestingly, the rules confining to the validity of the domestic arbitration
agreement and recognition of an arbitration agreement are different. Keeping the
above situation in mind, the authors here demarcate these rules in this article to
have a better understanding of them.
2 Id.
3 Reinmar Wolff, E-arbitration Agreements and e-Awards-arbitration Agreements Concluded in an
Electronic Environment and Digital Arbitral Awards, in Arbitration in the Digital Age: The Brave
New World of Arbitration 151 (Maud Piers & Christian Aschauer, eds., 1st edn., Cambridge University
Press, 2018).
4 Id.
5 Supra note 3 at 152.
6 Id.

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