The discussion on the position of arbitration in the Brussels Jurisdiction and Enforcement Regulation (Regulation 44/ 2001) has now reached the Committee on Legal Affairs of the European Parliament. Just to remind those less familiar with the issue: the present Regulation, as well as the preceding Jurisdiction Convention, allowed courts in EU countries to assume…

When discussing public policy, English lawyers like to quote the famous comment of an English judge in the early 19th century that “public policy is a very unruly horse, and once you get astride it you never know where it will carry you”. Recent history shows how difficult it is to ride the ‘unruly horse’;…

An interesting issue regarding the enforceability of foreign arbitral awards, in relation to the provisions of the New York Convention of 1958 and its alleged conflict with domestic Greek Civil Code provisions in relation to conflict of laws and public policy doctrines arose in Greek jurisdiction. The matter is of specific interest as the dispute…

Under the Russian legal system, the last resort a party has with respect to challanging a court decision is to apply to the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation with a claim to review the decision’s compliance with the Russian Constitution in terms of the provisions of laws and/or regulations applied by lower courts. There…

I am grateful to Professor Hess for his comments on my 3 March 2010 blog. It greatly contributes to advancing the debate. However, it also perfectly illustrates the difficulties of a proposition – the total or partial deletion of the arbitration exception in Regulation 44/2001 – that has not been sufficiently thought through. 1. Professor…

Several years ago, three United States Courts of Appeal contemporaneously dismissed actions to enforce foreign arbitral awards for lack of personal jurisdiction, a development that provoked expressions of concern from the arbitration bar. Adding to their dread, the United States Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit dismissed an enforcement action on forum non conveniens…

In post-Soviet time Russian courts have already developed quite a vast practice of recognition and enforcement of international arbitral awards. One can even already fetch out some trends in such practice. Thorough case study shows that certain distrust to international arbitration and unexpected obstacles to the enforcement of the awards caused by lack of experience…

As I have noted earlier, there is a pitched battle between victims of Pan Am 73 terrorist hijacking over the distribution of treaty funds secured by the United States for American victims in a 2008 diplomatic settlement with Libya. The treaty and Executive Order stipulate that the money shall be distributed solely for the benefit…

Professor Hess is the author of the chapter of the Heidelberg Report on the interplay between arbitration and the Regulation 44/2001 (“the Regulation”). As such, and quite understandably, he actively promotes the suggestion that the arbitration exception should be deleted from the Regulation. The Heidelberg proposal has been followed by a Green Paper of the…

In holding that “Article 85 of the [EU] Treaty [now article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union – TFEU] constitutes a fundamental provision which is essential for the accomplishment of the tasks entrusted to the Community and, in particular, for the functioning of the internal market”, and that “the provisions…

On 8 July 2009, the French Supreme Court rendered a decision confirming its position that the existence and the validity of an arbitration agreement should be determined primarily in light of the common intent of the parties (Société d’études et représentations navales et industrielles (SOERNI) et autres vs. Société Air Sea Broker limited (ASB), July…

The emerging rule in the U.S. that, to recognize and enforce an arbitral award under the New York Convention, a U.S. court must have personal jurisdiction over the award debtor or his or her property in the forum, has attracted criticism. International arbitration specialists argue that this requirement restricts enforcement of valid arbitral awards in…

One aspect of Chinese arbitration law that is of enduring interest to the international arbitration community is the question of whether Chinese law permits non-Chinese arbitration institutions, such as the ICC, to administer arbitrations in China. In practice, a number of arbitrations have taken place and are currently taking place in China under the rules…

The seat of an arbitration is a crucial factor. It determines the lex arbitri and the courts with supervisory jurisdiction over the arbitration. The important consequences of the seat require parties to choose the seat carefully. Cases where no seat is chosen by the parties are not uncommon. The English High Court in Shashoua v…

Earlier this year, the Hong Kong Court of First Instance ruled that, in future, when it hears unsuccessful attempts to resist enforcement of arbitral awards under the New York Convention, it will “normally consider” awarding costs on an indemnity basis (i.e., in full, regardless whether they were reasonably incurred). This was a bold pro-enforcement statement…

On May 6, 2009, the French Supreme Court rendered a decision relating to the consequences of insolvency proceedings commenced in France against a party to pending international arbitration proceedings (Jean X. v. International Company For Commercial Exchanges (Income), May 6, 2009, Case no. 08-10281). A French company had signed three contracts for the sale of…

The 9.10.2009 session of the New York Convention subcommittee of the IBA in Madrid saw a lively discussion on the topic of enforcement of annulled arbitral awards. The discussion related to the “Yukos Capital” decision issued by the Amsterdam Court of Appeals in April 2009. The Amsterdam Court of First Instance had previously upheld the…

Earlier this year, the ICSID ad hoc committee in the Sempra v. Argentina annulment proceedings decided to continue the stay of the enforcement of the tribunal’s award in that case for the duration of the annulment proceedings on the condition that Argentina pay USD 75 million into an escrow account. After Argentina failed to make…

There is a lingering perception amongst the international arbitration community that English courts tend to be more interventionist in relation to arbitration proceedings and awards compared to some of their continental counterparts. In reality, English courts are much less interventionist than some imagine, despite provisions such as section 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 which…

Given the fundamental nature of the exceptions to the recognition and enforcement under the New York Convention (the “Convention”) it should not be forgotten that their application is in fact discretionary: Article V.1 of the Convention states that “Recognition and enforcement of the award may be refused at the request of the party against whom…

The relationship between Arbitration and European Judicial Private Law has not always been easy. The bedrock European Law principle in this field, as embedded in the European Council Regulation (EC) No. 44/2001 of December 22, 2000 on Jurisdiction and the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters (“the Judgment Regulation”), is the…

On Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court decided Iran v. Elahi, a case that appears to fall within a data set of one. As I reported elsewhere, the case is extraordinarily complex, focusing on whether a terrorist victim judgment creditor can attach a confirmed arbitration award rendered in Iran’s favor. Although it involves exotic issues…

Banks and financial institutions traditionally have favoured litigation over arbitration as the means of resolving international disputes. The reasons often given include: (i) financial disputes typically involve straightforward payment claims and do not involve complex legal questions or fact finding, with the latter more suited for arbitration; (ii) arbitration does not provide for the possibility…

Last week the ALI Reporters held an invitation-only meeting in New York with arbitration luminaries to discuss the first draft of the first-ever “Restatement of the U.S. Law of International Commercial Arbitration.” The focus of the first draft is on the enforcement of international arbitral awards, which includes New York Convention grounds for challenge, as…