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). 

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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

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  • Excerpt Topics
    BELGIUM 16

    The Supreme Court reversed the order by which the Court of Appeal of Brussels had recognized an ad hoc final award rendered in the Czech Republic. The Court of Appeal had (i) examined the resolution issued by a review panel (as provided for by the arbitration agreement between the disputing parties and as allowed under the applicable Czech law), which had reviewed the final award and concluded that the dispute which was the subject matter of the final award had already been decided by an earlier partial award of the arbitral tribunal, and (ii) concluded that the resolution was a procedural decision that did not affect the binding nature of the final award under the 1958 New York Convention. (1) The Supreme Court explained that “binding” under the Convention means that the award must no longer be open to an appeal on the merits. According to the applicable Czech law, an award subject to review is not binding while the review proceeding is pending, and only becomes binding at the end of that proceeding if it is confirmed by the review award. This was not the case here, and the lower court had therefore erred. (2) The Supreme Court also found that the review resolution had to be taken into account as a legal fact, and therefore did not need – as erroneously held by the lower court – to be recognized first. Attempts to enforce the final award, both pending and after the review proceeding, were unsuccessful in Austria, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States; successful in Luxembourg.

    Hof van Cassatie van België, First Chamber, 10 February 2022, No. C.20.0247.N

    (Czech Republic, represented by the Minister of Health v. Diag Human SE)

    514 Ground e: Award not binding, suspended or set aside - "Binding"
  • Excerpt Topics
    Belgium 15

    The Court of Appeal granted the appeal filed by the Republic of Kazakhstan against the first instance decision granting recognition and enforcement of an SCC award rendered in favour of Anatolie and Gabriel Stati and three companies they controlled. The Court found that the Statis had supplied incorrect information to the arbitrators, and that as a consequence the award was tainted by fraud. The Court further stressed that as a court of secondary jurisdiction it would not review the merits of the SCC award, and that the Swedish court decisions upholding the award were irrelevant in the enforcement proceedings.

    Cour d’Appel, Brussels, Seventeenth Chamber, Civil Cases, 16 November 2021, Case no. 2020/AR/252

    (Republic of Kazakhstan v. Anatolie Stati et al.)

     

    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
    BELGIUM 14 bis

    The Court of Appeal held that the CAS arbitration agreement resulting from a combination of the provisions in the Statutes of the parties could not be invoked because it was a general agreement referring to arbitration all disputes between the parties, without reference to a defined legal relationship as is required under the relevant provision of Belgian law (which mirrors the requirement in Art. II(1) of the New York Convention).

    Court of Appeal, Brussels, Case No. 2016/AR/2048, 29 August 2018

    (D v. U (ASBL) UR)

    202

    The court discusses the form in which the arbitration agreement is expressed: short form arbitration clause, reference to rules of institution, etc.

    Contents of arbitration agreement
  • Excerpt Topics
    BELGIUM 14

    Belgium 14. Hof van Cassatie van België, 14 January 2010

    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
  • Excerpt Topics
    BELGIUM 13

    Belgium 13. Hof van Cassatie, 15 October 2004

    223

    The court discusses whether a certain dispute could be settled by arbitration, and the law applicable to that determination.

    Arbitrability (see also Art. V(2) sub ground a. "arbitrability", ¶519)
  • Excerpt Topics
    BELGIUM 12

    Belgium 12. Tribunal de Commerce, Brussels, 20 September 1990

    223

    The court discusses whether a certain dispute could be settled by arbitration, and the law applicable to that determination.

    Arbitrability (see also Art. V(2) sub ground a. "arbitrability", ¶519)
  • Excerpt Topics
    BELGIUM 11

    Belgium 11. Cour de Cassation, 5 June 1998

    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
    512 Ground c: Excess by arbitrator of his authority - Excess of authority
    514 Ground e: Award not binding, suspended or set aside - "Binding"
  • Excerpt Topics
    BELGIUM 10 A

    See also Tribunal de Première Instance, Brussels, 25 January 1996 (Inter-Arab Investment Guarantee Corp. v. Banque Arabe et Internationale d’Investissements) BELGIUM 10 B

    Cour d’Appel, Brussels, 24 January 1997 (Inter-Arab Investment Guarantee Corp. v. Banque Arabe et Internationale d’Investissements)

    101

    The court discusses the determination and relevance of the place where the award was made (in a foreign State or another contracting State.

    Award made in the territory of another (Contracting) State (paragraphs 1 and 3 - first or "reciprocity" reservation)
    106

    The court discusses issues relating to the identity of the party against whom enforcement of the arbitral award is sought, including: piercing of the corporate veil, succession, assignment, State or State entity, group of companies, agent or principal, etc. For the related defenses to enforcement, see Art. V(1)(a).

    Problems concerning the identity of a party
    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
    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
    304

    The court discusses the admissibility of a set off or counterclaim in enforcement proceedings under the Convention.

    Set-off/counterclaim
    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
    501

    The court discusses questions relating to the general approach taken by the Convention to the grounds for refusal of recognition and enforcement, including its pro-enforcement bias, as well as the system of the Convention, under which recognition and enforcement may only be denied on seven listed grounds and the petitioner has only the obligations set out in Art. IV.

    Grounds are exhaustive
    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
    503

    The court discusses the burden of proof of the grounds for refusing enforcement under the Convention.

    Burden of proof on respondent
    508 Ground b: Violation of due process in general
    512 Ground c: Excess by arbitrator of his authority - Excess of authority
    513 Ground d: Irregularity in the composition of the arbitral tribunal or arbitral procedure
    514 Ground e: Award not binding, suspended or set aside - "Binding"
    522

    Public policy: The court discusses the consequences of the lack of reasons in the award on its recognition and enforcement.

    Lack of reasons in award
    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
    601

    The court discusses the conditions for granting adjournment of a proceeding relating to the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award, and the court’s discretionary power to do so, as well the determination of “suitable security” and the power to request it.

    Adjournment of decision on enforcement
  • Excerpt Topics
    BELGIUM 10 B

    See also Cour d’Appel, Brussels, 24 January 1997 (Inter-Arab Investment Guarantee Corp. v. Banque Arabe et Internationale d’Investissements) BELGIUM 10 A

    Tribunal de Première Instance, Brussels, 25 January 1996

    (Inter-Arab Investment Guarantee Corp. v. Banque Arabe et Internationale d’Investissements)

    101

    The court discusses the determination and relevance of the place where the award was made (in a foreign State or another contracting State.

    Award made in the territory of another (Contracting) State (paragraphs 1 and 3 - first or "reciprocity" reservation)
    106

    The court discusses issues relating to the identity of the party against whom enforcement of the arbitral award is sought, including: piercing of the corporate veil, succession, assignment, State or State entity, group of companies, agent or principal, etc. For the related defenses to enforcement, see Art. V(1)(a).

    Problems concerning the identity of a party
    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
    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
    304

    The court discusses the admissibility of a set off or counterclaim in enforcement proceedings under the Convention.

    Set-off/counterclaim
    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
    501

    The court discusses questions relating to the general approach taken by the Convention to the grounds for refusal of recognition and enforcement, including its pro-enforcement bias, as well as the system of the Convention, under which recognition and enforcement may only be denied on seven listed grounds and the petitioner has only the obligations set out in Art. IV.

    Grounds are exhaustive
    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
    503

    The court discusses the burden of proof of the grounds for refusing enforcement under the Convention.

    Burden of proof on respondent
    508 Ground b: Violation of due process in general
    512 Ground c: Excess by arbitrator of his authority - Excess of authority
    513 Ground d: Irregularity in the composition of the arbitral tribunal or arbitral procedure
    514 Ground e: Award not binding, suspended or set aside - "Binding"
    522

    Public policy: The court discusses the consequences of the lack of reasons in the award on its recognition and enforcement.

    Lack of reasons in award
    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
    601

    The court discusses the conditions for granting adjournment of a proceeding relating to the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award, and the court’s discretionary power to do so, as well the determination of “suitable security” and the power to request it.

    Adjournment of decision on enforcement
  • Excerpt Topics
    BELGIUM 9

    Belgium 9. Tribunal de Commerce, Brussels, 5 October 1994

    106

    The court discusses issues relating to the identity of the party against whom enforcement of the arbitral award is sought, including: piercing of the corporate veil, succession, assignment, State or State entity, group of companies, agent or principal, etc. For the related defenses to enforcement, see Art. V(1)(a).

    Problems concerning the identity of a party
    213

    The court discusses the status of an arbitration agreement in a contract that was amended or renewed.

    Amendment or renewal
    214-216 Field of application
    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)
    223

    The court discusses whether a certain dispute could be settled by arbitration, and the law applicable to that determination.

    Arbitrability (see also Art. V(2) sub ground a. "arbitrability", ¶519)
    519

    Public policy: The court discusses cases in which the subject matter of the award was not arbitrable in the enforcement State on public policy grounds.

    Ground a: Arbitrability
  • Excerpt Topics
    BELGIUM 8

    Belgium 8. Rechtbank van Koophandel, Brussels, 6 May 1993

    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.
    223

    The court discusses whether a certain dispute could be settled by arbitration, and the law applicable to that determination.

    Arbitrability (see also Art. V(2) sub ground a. "arbitrability", ¶519)
  • Excerpt Topics
    BELGIUM 7

    Belgium 7. Tribunal de première instance, Brussels, 6 December 1988

    112

    The court discusses whether the Convention may be applied retroactively and, if so, as of when: e.g., with the conclusion of the arbitration agreement, the commencement of arbitration, the rendition of the award.

    Retroactivity
    307

    The court discusses questions relating to interest on the amount due under the arbitral award, including whether the enforcement court may grant interest not granted in the award, modify interest granted in the award, and grant post-award interest.

    Interest on award
    516

    Award not binding, suspended or set aside: The court discusses the difference between the exclusive jurisdiction to set aside an award (primary jurisdiction), which belongs to the courts of the country of origin of the award, and the jurisdiction of all other courts to recognize and enforce the award (secondary jurisdiction); issues relating to the determination of the “competent authority”; and whether an award that has been set aside in the country of origin can be enforced in another State under the Convention.

    "Set aside"
    704

    More-favorable right provision: The court discusses the application of the 1961 European Convention together with the New York Convention, and the relationship between the two treaties.

    European Convention of 1961
  • Excerpt Topics
    BELGIUM 6

    Belgium 6. Cour d'Appel, Brussels, 4 October 1985

    223

    The court discusses whether a certain dispute could be settled by arbitration, and the law applicable to that determination.

    Arbitrability (see also Art. V(2) sub ground a. "arbitrability", ¶519)
    519

    Public policy: The court discusses cases in which the subject matter of the award was not arbitrable in the enforcement State on public policy grounds.

    Ground a: Arbitrability
  • Excerpt Topics
    BELGIUM 3

    Belgium 3. Cour d'Appel, Brussels, First Chamber, 14 October 1980

    512 Ground c: Excess by arbitrator of his authority - Excess of authority
    516

    Award not binding, suspended or set aside: The court discusses the difference between the exclusive jurisdiction to set aside an award (primary jurisdiction), which belongs to the courts of the country of origin of the award, and the jurisdiction of all other courts to recognize and enforce the award (secondary jurisdiction); issues relating to the determination of the “competent authority”; and whether an award that has been set aside in the country of origin can be enforced in another State under the Convention.

    "Set aside"
    BELGIUM 5

    Belgium 5. Tribunal de Commerce, Liege, 23 April 1980

    112

    The court discusses whether the Convention may be applied retroactively and, if so, as of when: e.g., with the conclusion of the arbitration agreement, the commencement of arbitration, the rendition of the award.

    Retroactivity
    214-216 Field of application
    223

    The court discusses whether a certain dispute could be settled by arbitration, and the law applicable to that determination.

    Arbitrability (see also Art. V(2) sub ground a. "arbitrability", ¶519)
  • Excerpt Topics
    BELGIUM 4

    Belgium 4. Tribunal de Commerce, Brussels, 13 September 1979

    519

    Public policy: The court discusses cases in which the subject matter of the award was not arbitrable in the enforcement State on public policy grounds.

    Ground a: Arbitrability
    BELGIUM 2

    Belgium 2. Cour de Cassation, First Chamber, 28 June 1979

    101

    The court discusses the determination and relevance of the place where the award was made (in a foreign State or another contracting State.

    Award made in the territory of another (Contracting) State (paragraphs 1 and 3 - first or "reciprocity" reservation)
    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
    519

    Public policy: The court discusses cases in which the subject matter of the award was not arbitrable in the enforcement State on public policy grounds.

    Ground a: Arbitrability
    704(B) Bilateral Treaties
  • Excerpt Topics
    BELGIUM 1

    Belgium 1. Cour d'Appel, Liege, 12 May 1977

    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.
    519

    Public policy: The court discusses cases in which the subject matter of the award was not arbitrable in the enforcement State on public policy grounds.

    Ground a: Arbitrability
    704

    More-favorable right provision: The court discusses the application of the 1961 European Convention together with the New York Convention, and the relationship between the two treaties.

    European Convention of 1961
    704(B) Bilateral Treaties
    705

    The court discusses the relationship between the New York Convention, the Geneva Protocol on Arbitration Clauses of 1923, and the Geneva Convention on the Execution of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 1927.

    Relationship with Geneva Treaties of 1923 and 1927