Public-Private Arbitration and the Public Interest under English Law

Stavros Brekoulakis, Margaret Devaney


Together with the increase in the number of public-private contracts, recent years have seen a marked proliferation in public-private arbitrations. This article explores the public interest implications which may arise in such arbitrations and examines how public-private arbitration is treated under English law. We argue that, due to the lack of a developed administrative law sphere in England and the historical development of arbitration as an exclusively private mode of dispute resolution, the current legal framework of arbitration in England has developed around the private law paradigm of a commercial dispute involving private actors. This private law paradigm results in a conceptual and legal void in respect of how public interest is accounted for, and protected, in arbitrations involving public bodies under English law. Therefore, we suggest that English arbitration law needs to be amended to adequately protect the private interest in public-private arbitration.

Published January 2017
Frequency Bi-monthly
Volume 80
Issue 1
Print ISSN 0026-7961
Online ISSN 1468-2230