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
    BERMUDA 5

    Bermuda 5. Supreme Court of Bermuda, 14 February 2014

    500

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

    Grounds for refusal of enforcement in general
    503

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

    Burden of proof on respondent
    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
    523

    Public policy: The court discusses alleged violations of a fundamental rule of due process in the arbitration on the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award, including the failure to communicate the names of the arbitrators, the failure to send copies of reports or letters filed in the arbitration, etc.

    Irregularities in the arbitral procedure (see also Art. V(1)(b))
  • Excerpt Topics
    BERMUDA 4

    Bermuda 4. Supreme Court of Bermuda, Civil Jurisdiction, 21 January 1994

    209 Incorporation by reference and standard conditions
    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
    219

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

    There must be a dispute
  • Excerpt Topics
    BERMUDA 3

    Bermuda 3. Court of Appeal of Bermuda, 7 July 1989

    111

    The court discusses the application of the Convention to awards rendered by permanent arbitral bodies (as opposed to ad hoc awards).

    Permanent arbitral bodies (paragraph 2)
    201

    The court discusses whether the dispute falls within the wording of the arbitration agreement; and whether claims in tort fall within the scope of the agreement.

    Scope of arbitration agreement
    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
    401

    The court discusses the general conditions the Convention imposes on a petitioner for seeking recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award – namely, the submission of the original arbitration agreement or arbitral award or a certified copy thereof – and examines in general whether these conditions were complied in the case at issue.

    Conditions to be fulfilled by petitioner in general
    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
    503

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

    Burden of proof on respondent
    506

    Invalidity of the arbitration agreement: The court discusses the law applicable to the validity of the arbitration agreement at the enforcement stage.

    Law applicable to the arbitration agreement
    512 Ground c: Excess by arbitrator of his authority - Excess of authority
  • Excerpt Topics
    BERMUDA 2

    Bermuda 2. Court of Appeal of Bermuda, 9 November 1988

    214-216 Field of application
    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)
  • Excerpt Topics
    BERMUDA 1

    Bermuda 1. Supreme Court of Bermuda, 23 March 1982

    214-216 Field of application
    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.
    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