Public policy defences to the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards continue to generate uncertainty. Under Article V(2)(b) of the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the “New York Convention”), an award may be refused recognition or enforcement if “[t]he recognition or enforcement of the award would be contrary…

On 3 February 2020, the Republic of Seychelles became the 162nd Contracting State of the New York Convention (already followed by Palau as number 163, reported here). The New York Convention thus comes into force for the Seychelles today (Article XII(2) New York Convention). The Cabinet and the National Assembly had approved the accession on…

The 1958 New York Convention (“NY Convention” or “Convention”) was adopted in the era when probably the fastest form of communication in which an arbitration agreement could have been concluded was via telegrams. The Convention requires written form for an arbitration agreement (clause) to be valid, but the electronic communication of our times had not…

On 31 March 2020, the Republic of Palau (“Palau”) became the 163th state to accede to the United Nations Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958 (the “Convention”). Pursuant to Article XII (2) of the Convention, it will enter into force for Palau on 29 June 2020, 90 days after the deposit…

The overwhelming weight of opinion among legal practitioners is that enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in Kazakhstan is theoretically possible under the New York Convention (“NY Convention”), albeit problematic in practice due to ambiguity in the Kazakh legislations. Many problems associated with the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in Kazakhstan and the application…

I discussed in a previous post on the blog the decision of 18 February 2020 of the Court of Appeal in The Hague that revived the awards rendered in July 2014 against the Russian Federation in Veteran Petroleum Ltd., Yukos Universal Ltd. and Hulley Enterprises Ltd. cases. Those awards had been annulled in April 2016 on the basis that there…

Introduction In this year’s Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot (the “2020 Vis Moot”), arbitration practitioners and academics will look in depth at the validity of unilateral option clauses (“UOCs”). UOCs allow one party some element of choice whilst the other party is bound to resolve a dispute in a specific forum. UOCs can…

Questioning About the (Inexorable?) Future Could artificial intelligence (AI) carry out decision-making? Is it just a matter of time? Will AI replace human arbitrators? Further, will emotional intelligence always trump AI, or will AI enhance the arbitral process? Despite the topicality of the subject, the arbitration rules remain silent about AI. However, there is also…

Recently, the Center for International Investment & Commercial Arbitration inaugurated its Young Arbitration Group in Pakistan in a conference which attracted foreign panelists who efficaciously explained the theory and practice of international arbitration, highlighting the room for improvement in Pakistan. This has been summarized in a prior post on the Blog, which also explained that…

In 2019, the Swiss Supreme Court (“Supreme Court”) seized two opportunities to confirm and develop its existing case law in relation to the personal scope of arbitration agreements and their possible extension to non-signatories.   Extension to Non-Signatories under the New York Convention In a first decision, ATF 145 III 199, dated 17 April 2019,…

In this post we consider the soundness of the legal conclusion of the Johannesburg High Court in the recent matter of Government of the United Republic of Tanzania v Hermanus Philippus Steyn (28994/2019) [2019] ZAGPJHC 312 (4 September 2019); 2019 JDR 1690 (GJ) (“Reconsideration Judgment“) to confirm jurisdiction over foreigners in South Africa in order…

Those applying treaties and interpreting them must remember two salient points: (1) as international adjudicators or as members of the judiciary they must apply a treaty not on the basis of discretionary powers and a judicial hunch but on the basis of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT) and (2) lack of…

The national courts in Uzbekistan have not commonly been noted by arbitration lawyers and foreign investors for having a pro-arbitration judicial attitude. However, since President Mirziyoyev took office in 2016, Uzbekistan has been trying to build a reputation as an investment-friendly country. It was hoped that the reforms in various sectors would extend as far…

In 2012, the Commercial District Court in Bijeljina (‘CDC’) finally declared that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the dispute between Elektrogospodarstvo Slovenije (‘Claimant’) on one side, and Rudnik i termelektrana Ugljevik A.D. (’Respondent’) on the other (Case reference no. 59 0 Ps 018507 12 Ps 3), with the High Commercial Court in Banja Luka (‘HCC’)…

A 2018 decision rendered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Outokumpu Stainless USA, LLC, et al. v. GE Energy Power Conversion France SAS, Corp has recently put on the agenda of the U.S. Supreme Court the interpretation of the “in writing” requirement under Article II(2) of the New York Convention…

This post analyses the decisions of Hungarian courts rendered under the New York Convention (“Convention”) and published in the last two decades. The decisions were initially made available to the international arbitration community in the ICCA Yearbook of Commercial Arbitration series. This case law of 20 years is summarized below by identifying the main directions…

If the number of signatories at the launch of a convention is any measure of success, then the Singapore Convention on Mediation (Singapore Convention) had close to five times the signatories as the New York Convention (NYC) which had 10 signatories (by the time the NYC came into force there were 24 signatories). The NYC…

This post analyzes the problem stemming from the different form requirements established by the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (“NYC”) and the 1980 United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (“CISG”) with respect to the formation of the agreements the two Conventions regulate….

Introduction  This post explores whether a Tribunal may refer to an annulled arbitral award in support of its factual findings or legal assessments. Although a simple reference to annulled awards lies outside the context of any obligation for the Tribunal in terms of res judicata and stare decisis, this quest is aligned with annulled awards’…

On the 60th year of the signing of the New York Convention, the Philippines’ Supreme Court, for the first time, declared its adoption of a narrow definition of “public policy” under the said convention. In Mabuhay Holdings Corporation v Sembcorp Logistics Limited, G.R. No. 212734, 5 December 2018, it held that “[m]ere errors in the interpretation of…

Introduction The United Arab Emirates (the “UAE”) is a signatory to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 1958 (the “NYC”), which was adopted into UAE law by Federal Decree No. 43 of 2006. However, there have been instances where the lower courts of the UAE have come…

What are Terms of Reference in the ICC Rules of Arbitration, and what are they for? Article 23(1) of the 2017 ICC Rules provides “As soon as it has received the file [of a new dispute] from the Secretariat, the arbitral tribunal shall draw up, on the basis of documents or in the presence of…

Consent has long been accepted as the cornerstone of arbitration, until recently. The evolution and expansion of arbitration brought about diverging opinions on the consensual character of arbitration. For example, Stavros Brekoulakis suggested that “[w]hile … a functional concept of consent may enhance the effectiveness of arbitration clauses in complex transactions, it is very difficult…

The Public Policy Exception as an Unruly Horse There is an ongoing quest for a uniform application of the New York Convention. However, the interpretation of the exceptions to enforcement still varies. Albeit applying the same provisions, national courts continue to adopt different approaches to the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards. This is particularly true…