Article 21 - Competence of Arbitral Panel to rule on its jurisdiction

(1) The Arbitral Panel may rule on its own jurisdiction, including any objections with respect to the existence or validity of the Arbitration Agreement. For that purpose, an arbitration clause which forms part of a contract shall be treated as an agreement independent of the other terms of the contract. A decision by the Arbitral Panel that the contract is null and void shall not by itself determine the invalidity of the arbitration clause.
(2) A plea by a respondent or other party that the Arbitral Panel does not have jurisdiction shall be raised not later than the submission of his defence or, for another party, his first written statement in the Arbitration. A party is not precluded from raising such a plea by the fact that he has appointed, or participated in the appointment of, an arbitrator. A plea that the Arbitral Panel is exceeding the scope of its authority shall be raised as soon as the matter alleged to be beyond the scope of its authority is identified during the arbitral proceedings. The Arbitral Panel may, in either case, admit a later plea if it considers the delay justified.
(3) The Arbitral Panel may rule on a plea referred to in paragraph 21(2) of this Article either as a preliminary question or in an Award on the merits. If the Arbitral Panel rules as a preliminary question that it has jurisdiction, any party may request, within thirty days after having received notice of that ruling, the QFC Tribunal to decide the matter, which decision shall be subject to no appeal; while such a request is pending, the Arbitral Panel may continue the arbitral proceedings and make an Award.