Partner Emmanuel Gaillard (Paris-International Arbitration) authored an article entitled "France Adopts New Law On Arbitration," published in the Jan. 24, 2011 issue of the New York Law Journal.
On January 13, 2011, France adopted a new law on arbitration (see Decree No. 2011-48 of Jan. 13, 2001, reforming the law governing arbitration, with an English translation available here; for a full commentary, see Emmanuel Gaillard and Pierre de Lapasse, "Le nouveau droit français de l'arbitrage interne et international," Recueil Dalloz, Jan. 20, 2011, No. 3, at 175). The new law, which will be embodied in Articles 1442 through 1527 of the French Code of Civil Procedure (CCP), governs both domestic and international arbitration. French law has thus maintained the dualist approach which distinguishes between domestic and international arbitration, continuing to allow a more flexible regime for international arbitration.
This reform had long been advocated by the French Arbitration Committee (CFA), which issued a first draft in 2006 (see 2006 Revue de l'arbitrage 499, with a commentary by Jean-Louis Delvolvé, the chair of the Working Group, with Professor Pierre Mayer chairing the group's international arbitration subcommittee). The process gained a new momentum in 2009 after the French Ministry of Justice took up the effort. The draft underwent a number of further amendments and benefited from the feedback of the Council of State (Conseil d'Etat) before it was adopted in January 2011.