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
    SINGAPORE 28 June 2024 Pertamina

    A SIAC arbitral tribunal, by a domestic award, found in favor of Pertamina in a dispute arising under sale contracts with Phoenix. A first instance court granted enforcement. Claiming that there was no arbitration agreement between the parties, because the arbitration clause in the parties’ umbrella agreement did not apply to the individual sale contracts, Phoenix appealed from the enforcement order; it also commenced an action in the Philippines for a declaration that the SIAC award and arbitration were void. The SICC found instead that the parties were bound by a valid arbitration clause; as a consequence, it denied Phoenix’s appeal from the enforcement order, and granted the application filed by Pertamina for a permanent anti-suit injunction enjoining the Philippine action. The Court first held that it could issue an anti-suit injunction, because the Supreme Court of Judicature Act gave it jurisdiction to hear any “proceedings relating to international commercial arbitration” that the General Division of the High Court may hear – such as the present one – and that jurisdiction included the General Division’s power to grant appropriate relief, such as an anti-suit injunction in aid of arbitration proceedings. Second, an injunction should be issued in the present case, because Phoenix’s action in the Philippine courts did not aim, as Phoenix claimed, simply at resisting enforcement of the SIAC award in a “proactive, pre-emptive manner”. While Phoenix was and remained free to oppose enforcement in the Philippines or elsewhere, the Philippine action sought a declaration that the award and the arbitration were void. However, consistent with both the Model Law and the New York Convention, the validity of the award and the arbitration was a matter for the court of supervisory jurisdiction, that is, the SICC, since the SIAC arbitration had been conducted in Singapore. As a matter of Singapore law, Phoenix’s only remedy against the award was to apply to have it set aside by the Singapore courts.

    Singapore International Commercial Court of the Republic of Singapore, 28 June 2024, Originating Application No 1 of 2024 and Originating Application No 23 of 2023 (Summons No 21 of 2024)

    (Pertamina International Marketing & Distribution Pte Ltd v. P-H-O-E-N-I-X Petroleum Philippines, Inc (a.k.a. Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc))

     

    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"
  • Excerpt Topics
    SINGAPORE 2024-2

    Court of Appeal of the Republic of Singapore, 15 December 2023, Civil Appeal No 1 of 2023

    (Republic of India v. Deutsche Telekom AG)

    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"
    SINGAPORE 5 April 2023 CZD v. CZE

    The Court denied the defendant’s application to set aside the order enforcing an award rendered in PR China. It found, first, that the record proved that the arbitrators had not exceeded their authority, as it appeared that they had found the defendant to be liable under the loan agreement on which the arbitration claimant relied, and not – as alleged – on other agreements between the parties. Second, the Court dismissed the claim that enforcement would be contrary to public policy – meaning the basic notions of morality and justice – because the award had been obtained by (procedural) fraud. The defendant’s contention that the claimant had maintained inconsistent evidential positions before the arbitral tribunal and in subsequent proceedings in the courts of PR China (including failed attempts to have the award set aside) was not supported by the evidence. Last, the Court held that the defendant’s claim that the award should not be enforced because it had been satisfied – through attachment in PR China – was not a recognized ground under Sect. 31 of the International Arbitration Act, which mirrors Art. V of the New York Convention and provides an exhaustive list of grounds for refusal of enforcement.

    High Court of the Republic of Singapore, General Division, 5 April 2023, Originating Application No 725 of 2022 (Registrar’s Appeal No 23 of 2023) and Summons No 4435 of 2022)

    (CZD v. CZE)

     

    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
    512 Ground c: Excess by arbitrator of his authority - Excess of authority
    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
    SINGAPORE 2024-1

    Singapore International Commercial Court of the Republic of Singapore, 30 January 2023, Originating Summons No 8 of 2022 HC/Summonses Nos 155 and 720 of 2022 and SIC/Summonses Nos 24 and 45 of 2022

    (Deutsche Telekom AG v. The Republic of India)

    105

    The court discusses issues relating to the quality of the parties, as physical or legal persons against whom enforcement of an arbitral award is sought, including the incapacity of a State to enter into an arbitration agreement, and questions relating to sovereign immunity. For the related defenses to enforcement, see Art. V(1)(a).

    "Persons, whether physical or legal" (paragraph 1) (including sovereign immunity)
    303

    The court discusses the conditions under which a party may be estopped from raising a ground for refusal of enforcement under the Convention or has waived the right to raise it.

    Estoppel/waiver
    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
    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
    SINGAPORE 16

    High Court of the Republic of Singapore, General Division, 7 October 2022, Originating Application No 297 of 2022 and Summons No 2715 of 2022

    (CVG v. CVH)

    110

    The court discusses the definition of “arbitral award”, and the application of the Convention to the various types of award, including awards on specific performance, awards enjoining a party from certain conduct, declaratory awards, etc. Also, whether preliminary, partial, interim, interlocutory awards, and awards by consent can be enforced under the Convention.

    Arbitral award: types
    511

    Due process: The court discusses various irregularities affecting due process, including letters not sent, names of arbitrators or experts not communicated, language of proceedings and communications, etc.

    "Otherwise unable to present his case"
    514 Ground e: Award not binding, suspended or set aside - "Binding"
    SINGAPORE 14 March 2022 CNX v. CNY

    The High Court discussed the issue of the time limit within which a foreign State must apply to set aside a Leave Order granting leave to enforce an award. It concluded that the time limit applicable to the service of a Leave Order under Sect. 14(2) of the State Immunity Act of Singapore also applied to the application to set it aside.

    High Court of the Republic of Singapore, 14 March 2022, Originating Summons No 900 of 2021 (Summons Nos 5125 and 5275 of 2021)

    (CNX v. CNY)

     

    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
    SINGAPORE 15

    Court of Appeal of the Republic of Singapore, 18 November 2019, Civil Appeal No 114 of 2018

    (Sanum Investments Limited v. ST Group Co Ltd et al.)

    503

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

    Burden of proof on respondent
    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
    513 Ground d: Irregularity in the composition of the arbitral tribunal or arbitral procedure
  • Excerpt Topics
    SINGAPORE 14

    Singapore 14. Quanzhou Sanhong Trading Limited Liability Co Ltd v. ADM Asia-Pacific Trading Pte Ltd, High Court, Originating Summons No. 1057 of 2016, 14 July 2017

    001

    The court discusses general questions relating to the interpretation of the Convention as an international treaty, also in respect of the methods of interpretation laid down in the 1969 Vienna Convention; the relationship between the New York Convention and the UNCITRAL Model Law and Recommendation 2006. 

    Interpretation of the Convention
    512 Ground c: Excess by arbitrator of his authority - Excess of authority
    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
    SINGAPORE 13

    Singapore 13. High Court, 19 June 2014

    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
    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)
    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
  • Excerpt Topics
    SINGAPORE 12

    Singapore 12. High Court, 14 November 2013

    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
    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
    SINGAPORE 11

    Singapore 11. High Court, 14 October 2010

    303

    The court discusses the conditions under which a party may be estopped from raising a ground for refusal of enforcement under the Convention or has waived the right to raise it.

    Estoppel/waiver
    503

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

    Burden of proof on respondent
    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
    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
    SINGAPORE 10

    Singapore 10. High Court, 14 May 2010 and 10 June 2010

    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
    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
    SINGAPORE 9

    Singapore 9. High Court, 29 December 2009

    219

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

    There must be a dispute
    SINGAPORE 8

    Singapore 8. High Court, 3 April 2009

    214-216 Field of application
    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
    227

    Multi-party disputes: The court discusses whether related court proceedings may absorb (by vis atractiva) arbitration proceedings.

    Concurrent court proceedings ("indivisibility")
    SINGAPORE 7

    Singapore 7. High Court, 12 January 2009

    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
    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
    SINGAPORE 6

    Singapore 6. High Court, 9 September 2008

    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
    SINGAPORE 5

    Singapore 5. High Court, 10 May 2006

    403

    The court discusses issues relating to the requirement to supply the original arbitration agreement or a copy thereof to prove the prima facie validity of the arbitration agreement, as well as the application of more favorable municipal laws that do not provide for this requirement.

    Original or copy arbitration agreement
    503

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

    Burden of proof on respondent
    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
    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
    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))
    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
    SINGAPORE 4

    Singapore 4. High Court, 4 June 2001

    508 Ground b: Violation of due process in general
    514 Ground e: Award not binding, suspended or set aside - "Binding"
    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"
  • Excerpt Topics
    SINGAPORE 3

    Singapore 3. High Court, 27 January 1998 and 4 March 1998

    214-216 Field of application
    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
    SINGAPORE 1

    Singapore 1. High Court, 29 September 1995

    001

    The court discusses general questions relating to the interpretation of the Convention as an international treaty, also in respect of the methods of interpretation laid down in the 1969 Vienna Convention; the relationship between the New York Convention and the UNCITRAL Model Law and Recommendation 2006. 

    Interpretation of the Convention
    113

    The court discusses aspects relating to the implementation of the Convention in a Contracting State: the self-executing nature of the Convention v. the requirement of implementing legislation; the lack of implementing legislation; legislation that diverges from the text of the Convention or is defective under national law. Also, the domestic requirement that a State be included in an official list (“gazetted”) to ascertain reciprocity.

    Implementing legislation
    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
    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
    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
    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
    520

    Public policy:The court discusses the consequences of the default of a party in the arbitration on the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award against it.

    Ground b: Public policy - Default of party
    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
    SINGAPORE 2

    Singapore 2. High Court, Admiralty Division, 2 March 1992

    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