Court Decisions

The court decisions available on this website interpret and apply the New York Convention. These court decisions are in most cases published in the Yearbook Commercial Arbitration since its Volume I (1976). 

Search options:

Court Decisions Search Engine

The court decisions available on this website interpret and apply the New York Convention.

  1. Most decisions are reported in the Yearbook Commercial Arbitration, published by ICCA since 1976, and are numbered as in the Yearbook (e.g., US no. 954).

  2. Other decisions are indicated by country, date, and a short name (e.g., UK 18 June 2020 Alexander Brothers).

Court decisions can be searched by country and by topic.

Court Decisions

Search Court Decisions

  • Excerpt Topics
    PAKISTAN 8

    The Supreme Court, hearing an appeal against a lower court's decision to enforce an LCIA award, regretted that in a commercially fast paced world, Pakistan had signed the UNCITRAL Model Law but had not yet incorporated its provisions into its domestic law. On the merits of the application, the Court agreed with the finding that the arbitration clause in a contract between the parties was applicable to disputes arising under another contract between them, because the two contracts were connected and interdependent, and that the arbitral tribunal had been empowered to decide on its own jurisdiction under the principle of competence-competence. The Supreme Court dismissed the contention that enforcement would violate public policy because the award amounted to unjust enrichment, holding that the opposing party failed to make out its claim. The Court stressed in this respect that the public policy exception in Art. V(2)(b) of the New York Convention acted as a safeguard of fundamental notions of morality and justice, and was never meant to be given a wide scope of application or become a back door to review the merits of a foreign arbitral award or to create grounds which were not available under Art. V of the Convention.

    Supreme Court of Pakistan, 17 August 2021, Civil Appeal No.1547 of 2019
    (Orient Power Company (Private) Limited v. Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited)

    502

    The court discusses the principle that the merits of the award may not be reviewed and that the court may only carry out a limited review of the award to ascertain grounds for refusal.

    No re-examination of the merits of the arbitral award
    507

    Invalidity of the arbitration agreement: The court discusses other cases of invalidity of the arbitration agreement, including that there was no agreement at all or that the party was not a signatory thereto, that the incorrect arbitral institution was chosen, etc.

    Miscellaneous cases regarding the arbitration agreement
    512 Ground c: Excess by arbitrator of his authority - Excess of authority
    518

    Public policy: The court discusses the meaning of (international as compared to domestic) public policy, generally defined as the basic notions of morality and justice of the enforcement State.

    Paragraph 2 - Distinction domestic-international public policy
    524

    Public policy: The court discusses the effect of other alleged violations of public policy on the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award, such as contradictory reasons, manifest disregard of the law (US), etc.

    Other cases
  • Excerpt Topics
    PAKISTAN 14 January 2020 Tallahasee

    The Court dismissed the appeal by which Tallahasee challenged the lower court’s order to stay court proceedings based on the ICSID arbitration clause in the Petroleum Concession Agreement concluded between Tallahassee and the Ministry of Energy of Pakistan. Tallahasee had commenced a court action against the respondents seeking, inter alia, an injunction restraining them from cashing a bank guarantee. The High Court found that the Ministry had not waived its right to seek a stay and referral to arbitration: although it had not filed the stay application for over six months after the institution of the suit, the court where Tallahasse’s suit was pending had been closed for several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On the facts of the case, the Court then found that the lower court had not abused its discretion to order a stay, as it had found, among others, that the respondents had not taken any steps in the proceedings.

    High Court, Islamabad, 14 January 2020, F.A.O. No.124 of 2020 14/01/2020

    (Tallahasee Resources Incorporated through Mrs. Maleeha Waheed Malik vs. Director General Petroleum Concessions, Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) and Another)

    217

    The court discusses the meaning and effect of the referral of the resolution of disputes to arbitration, including: who can ask for referral and when, whether a party has waived its right to request arbitration, the defense that there was no contract at all; whether there was a condition precedent to the commencement of arbitration (e.g. mediation), stay of proceedings v. compelling arbitration, and national procedural specificities such as remand and removal (US), effect of class action. etc.

    Referral to arbitration in general
  • Excerpt Topics
    PAKISTAN 16 August 2018 Dhanya

    The High Court granted recognition and enforcement of an award of the International Cotton Association, London. It noted that the applicant had provided a duly certified copy of the award, and that the defendant, despite service by all three indicated means, had not appeared and had therefore failed to raise any defence. The Court pointed out that the purpose of the 2011 Act implementing the New York Convention in Pakistan is to provide an expeditious mechanism for the recognition and enforcement of arbitral agreements and foreign arbitral awards pursuant to the Convention – which applied in the present case as both parties were domiciled in Convention countries.

    High Court, Sindh, 16 August 2018, Suit No. 1694 of 2016

    (Dhanya Agro-Industrial (Pvt.) Limited v. Quetta Textile Mills Ltd.)

     

    402

    The court discusses how to determine whether the document supplied is an award capable of being recognized and enforced, including whether the award is duly authenticated, and whether a copy is duly certified; whether a prior interim and/or partial award should be supplied together with the final award.

    Original or copy arbitral award
    500

    The court discusses the overall scheme and/or pro-enforcement bias of the Convention.

    Grounds for refusal of enforcement in general
    PAKISTAN 3 April 2018 Aroma Travel

    The High Court dismissed the application to stay court proceedings and refer the dispute to arbitration. It discussed the doctrine of the separability of the arbitration clause from the contract in which it is contained, but concluded that in the present case, where no written contract(s) existed, and “the whole suit is based on oral understanding and promises”, referring the matter to arbitration “would be nothing but a futile and pathetic exercise with wastage of time”.  

    High Court, Sindh, 3 April 2018, Suit No. 843 of 2015

    (Aroma Travel Services (Pvt.) Ltd. & Others v. Faisal Al Abdullah Al Faisal Al-Saud & Others)

     

    222

    The court discusses the principle of competence-competence, including whether the parties “intended to have arbitrability decided by an arbitrator”, and the separability of the arbitration agreement from the main contract.

    Arbitrator's competence and separability of the arbitration clause
    226

    Multi-party disputes: The court discusses under which conditions non-signatories are covered by an arbitration agreement entered into by another party.

    Third parties (see also Art. I sub F "problems concerning the identity of the respondent", ¶106)
    PAKISTAN 12 January 2018 Jess Smith

    The Court held that it was within its discretion under the New York Convention to require clarifications in respect of formal and evidentiary issues relating to the application to enforce an award of the International Cotton Association. The plaintiff had duly submitted a certified copy of the award. However, the correspondence it supplied to prove the existence of a contract containing an arbitration agreement had been exchanged between the plaintiff and a third company – allegedly, its dealer – and between the defendant and the same third party; there was no direct exchange of correspondence between the plaintiff and the defendant. The Court scheduled a hearing on the questions whether the correspondence on record constituted a contract containing an arbitration clause; whether the third company had been duly authorized to act as an agent of the plaintiff; and, whether the arbitration proceedings had been conducted in accordance with the rules of the International Cotton Association.

    High Court, Lahore, 12 January 2018, Civil Original No. 628 of 2014

    (Jess Smith and Sons Cotton LLC v. D.S. Industries)

     

    301

    The court discusses the principle that the procedure for the enforcement of awards under the Convention is governed by the lex fori, as well as procedural issues (such as the competent enforcement court) not falling under the specific cases of ¶¶ 302-307.

    Procedure for enforcement in general
  • Excerpt Topics
    PAKISTAN 28 May 2015 Abid Associated Agencies

    The Court granted the application to stay the suit brought by the plaintiffs, finding that the arbitration clause in the agency contract the parties had not become null and void, inoperative, or incapable of being performed, because the contract had been terminated. In fact, the Court noted, the plaintiffs had initially participated in the ICC arbitration commenced in accordance with the arbitration clause – which had led to a partial award – although they had later decided not to proceed further. The Court discussed in some detail the meaning of “null and void, inoperative, or incapable of being performed”, and the law applicable to arbitration agreements.

    High Court, Islamabad, 28 May 2015, C.S. No.33/2011

    (Abid Associated Agencies International Pvt. Ltd. etc. v. Areva, etc.)

    217

    The court discusses the meaning and effect of the referral of the resolution of disputes to arbitration, including: who can ask for referral and when, whether a party has waived its right to request arbitration, the defense that there was no contract at all; whether there was a condition precedent to the commencement of arbitration (e.g. mediation), stay of proceedings v. compelling arbitration, and national procedural specificities such as remand and removal (US), effect of class action. etc.

    Referral to arbitration in general
    220

    The court discusses how to interpret the Convention’s requirement that the agreement is not null and void etc., as well as specific cases of invalidity: e.g., lack of consent (misrepresentation, duress, or fraud), vague wording of the arbitral clause; other terms of the contract contradict the intention to arbitrate, etc.

    "Null and void", etc.
    221

    The court discusses which law – lex fori, lex contractus, law of the State where the award will be made – applies specifically to determining whether an agreement to arbitrate is “null and void etc.“, and, by extension, which law applies to determining the validity of arbitration agreements.

    Law applicable to "Null and void", etc. (for formal validity and applicable law, see Art. II, ¶204)
    PAKISTAN 20 May 2015 Cummins

    The High Court dismissed the appeal from the first instance order staying court proceedings and referring the matter to arbitration. The court action concerned the allegedly illegal termination of contracts between the parties, which contained an arbitration clause. The High Court held that the first instance court had a discretionary power to refer a dispute to arbitration, and that it had exercised it correctly in the present case, on the facts of the case.

    High Court, Sindh, 20 May 2015, C.A. no. 237 of 2008

    (Cummins Sales and Service (Pakistan) Limited Through Authorized Signatory v. Cummins Middle East Fze through Chief Executive and 4 Others)

     

    217

    The court discusses the meaning and effect of the referral of the resolution of disputes to arbitration, including: who can ask for referral and when, whether a party has waived its right to request arbitration, the defense that there was no contract at all; whether there was a condition precedent to the commencement of arbitration (e.g. mediation), stay of proceedings v. compelling arbitration, and national procedural specificities such as remand and removal (US), effect of class action. etc.

    Referral to arbitration in general
  • Excerpt Topics
    PAKISTAN 5

    Pakistan 5. High Court of Sindh, Karachi, 23 December 2013

    220

    The court discusses how to interpret the Convention’s requirement that the agreement is not null and void etc., as well as specific cases of invalidity: e.g., lack of consent (misrepresentation, duress, or fraud), vague wording of the arbitral clause; other terms of the contract contradict the intention to arbitrate, etc.

    "Null and void", etc.
    PAKISTAN 4

    Pakistan 4. High Court of Sindh, Karachi, 19 November 2013

    220

    The court discusses how to interpret the Convention’s requirement that the agreement is not null and void etc., as well as specific cases of invalidity: e.g., lack of consent (misrepresentation, duress, or fraud), vague wording of the arbitral clause; other terms of the contract contradict the intention to arbitrate, etc.

    "Null and void", etc.
    PAKISTAN 3

    Pakistan 3. High Court of Sindh, Karachi, 14 May 2013

    220

    The court discusses how to interpret the Convention’s requirement that the agreement is not null and void etc., as well as specific cases of invalidity: e.g., lack of consent (misrepresentation, duress, or fraud), vague wording of the arbitral clause; other terms of the contract contradict the intention to arbitrate, etc.

    "Null and void", etc.
  • Excerpt Topics
    PAKISTAN 27 April 2012 Taisei

    An ICC sole arbitrator in Singapore rendered an award in favor of Taisei in respect of a contract containing an arbitration clause and governed by Pakistani law. A.M. Construction Company (AMCC) applied to the Civil Judge at Lahore under Sect. 14 of the Arbitration Act 1940, seeking the issuance of a direction to the sole arbitrator to file  the award in the Court so that AMCC could challenge it on the grounds provided for in the Act. The Civil Judge granted the application. On appeal, the High Court affirmed the first instance decision, holding that the remedies provided for in the 1940 Act had not been repealed by the 2011 Act implementing the New York Convention in Pakistan, and that AMCC could rely thereon because the award was a domestic award. Referring to Pakistani and Indian case law, the Court explained that, by agreeing to a foreign seat (here, Singapore), the parties make an implied choice for the procedural law of the seat; however, the arbitration agreement, and its validity and scope, are substantive aspects governed by the proper law of the contract in which the arbitration agreement is contained (here, Pakistani law).  

    High Court, Lahore, 27 April 2012, Civil Revision No. 1691 of 2012

    (Taisei Corporation v. A.M. Construction Company (Pvt.) Ltd.)

    104

    The court discusses whether the Convention applies to domestic arbitration and to proceedings for the setting aside of domestic awards. 

    Convention's applicability in other cases
  • Excerpt Topics
    PAKISTAN 2

    Pakistan 2. High Court, Karachi, 7 March 2006

    207

    The court discusses what more recent means of communication are also covered by the “exchange of letters or telegrams” alternative: telefax, email, e-commerce, etc.

    Means of communication for achieving the exchange in writing
    220

    The court discusses how to interpret the Convention’s requirement that the agreement is not null and void etc., as well as specific cases of invalidity: e.g., lack of consent (misrepresentation, duress, or fraud), vague wording of the arbitral clause; other terms of the contract contradict the intention to arbitrate, etc.

    "Null and void", etc.
    PAKISTAN 1

    Pakistan 1. High Court, Karachi, 14 February 2006

    217

    The court discusses the meaning and effect of the referral of the resolution of disputes to arbitration, including: who can ask for referral and when, whether a party has waived its right to request arbitration, the defense that there was no contract at all; whether there was a condition precedent to the commencement of arbitration (e.g. mediation), stay of proceedings v. compelling arbitration, and national procedural specificities such as remand and removal (US), effect of class action. etc.

    Referral to arbitration in general
    218

    The court discusses whether referral of the resolution of disputes to arbitration is mandatory under the Convention and whether mandatory referral is an internationally uniform rule which supersedes municipal law.

    Referral is mandatory
    219

    The court discusses how to determine that there is a dispute as a condition for referral to arbitration.

    There must be a dispute
    220

    The court discusses how to interpret the Convention’s requirement that the agreement is not null and void etc., as well as specific cases of invalidity: e.g., lack of consent (misrepresentation, duress, or fraud), vague wording of the arbitral clause; other terms of the contract contradict the intention to arbitrate, etc.

    "Null and void", etc.