As a general rule, capacity to submit disputes to arbitration is co-extensive with capacity to contract. While performing the contract if there arises some disputes or differences between the parties, any of the parties may refer such disputes to the arbitrators. There are certain conditions at which even the parties to the contract can not refer disputes to the arbitrations.

Generally only those persons can refer disputes to arbitrators who are legally competent to contract. One who is incompetent to contract can not refer disputes to the arbitrators either. Hence disputes may be referred only by the person who is competent and upon whom the decision of the arbitrator may be imposed. The following persons may not generally refer disputes to arbitrators:-

(a) Minor or a lunatic person:

A minor or a lunatic (unsound) person is not legally competent to contract, he cannot refer any dispute for arbitration, but his natural or legal guardian can, on his behalf, refer disputes bonafide for his benefit and interest.

(b) Agent:

An agent cannot refer dispute to arbitration unless he is given a special right to do so by his principal.

(c) An attorney or solicitor:

They cannot refer dispute to arbitrator unless the client gives special authority to do so.

(d) Partner:

Generally, a partner in a business has no right to refer disputes but he can do it if he is given this right by the partnership agreement or by usage, by custom of trade, on behalf of his partnership.

(e) Trustee:

The trustee enjoys a right to refer dispute to arbitration for protection and improvement of such property.