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31. (1) The judge may, with the consent of the parties to any civil proceedings, order the proceedings to be referred to arbitration (whether with or without other matters within the jurisdiction of the court in dispute between the parties) to such person or persons and in such manner and on such terms as he thinks just and reasonable.
(2) Where any proceedings are referred to arbitration as aforesaid—
(a)the arbitrator shall be deemed to be an officer of the court;
(b)subject to the order, the arbitrator shall conduct the references in the prescribed manner;
(c)the award shall, unless set aside by the judge, have the like effect as a decree pronounced by the judge and shall be embodied in a decree accordingly;
(d)the remuneration to be paid to the arbitrator shall be determined by the judge, and, subject to any agreement between the parties or order of the judge, be costs in the proceedings.
Para. (3) rep. by 1996 c. 23
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