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Prior to May 1980, the French domestic law on arbitration had not been subject to any substantial legislative reform since the early nineteenth century. The procedural part of that law, which contained practically all of the French legislative provisions applying to arbitration, was out of date and in need of reconsideration.

Despite the considerable French procedural law reforms enacted in 1975, articles 1005 through 1028 of the Nouveau Code de procédure civile had not been revised to any significant extent since the enactment of the Code de procédure civile in 1806.

The basic intention of the new legislative text is unmistakable: it is designed to promote arbitration as a framework for dispute resolution.