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
    SOUTH AFRICA 11

    Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa, 1 December 2021, Case no: 479/2020

    (Canton Trading 17 (Pty) Ltd t/a Cube Architects v. Fanti Bekker Hattingh N O)

    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
    SOUTH AFRICA 10

    On 20 August 2021, the Gauteng Local Division of the High Court of South Africa, in Johannesburg, granted enforcement of an award rendered in South Africa in an international arbitration between a South African and a Croatian party. The defendant resisted enforcement on the ground that it had commenced a separate action in the High Court, seeking the same relief it had sought in its counterclaim in the arbitration, which had been denied by the sole arbitrator. The High Court rejected this defense, in light of the pro-enforcement bias of the UNCITRAL Model Law, which was adopted into South African law through the 2017 International Arbitration Act, and of the New York Convention.

    High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Local Division, Johannesburg, 20 August 2021, Case No: 2020/15862

    (Industrius D.O.O. v. IDS Industry Service and Plant Construction South Africa (Pty) Ltd)

    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
    SOUTH AFRICA 9

    South Africa No. 9. The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania v. Hermanus Philippus Steyn et al., High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Local Division, Johannesburg, Case No. 28994/2019, 4 September 2019

    High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Local Division, 
Johannesburg, 4 September 2019
    The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania v. 
Hermanus Philippus Steyn et al.

    515

    Award not binding, suspended or set aside: The court discusses the conditions under which an award that has merged into a court judgment in the country of origin can still be enforced as an award under the Convention, and whether a decision granting recognition under the Convention can be enforced as a foreign court judgment in a third country.

    Merger of award into judgment
  • Excerpt Topics
    SOUTH AFRICA 8

    South Africa 8. Balkan Energy Limited et al. v. The Government of the Republic of Ghana, High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Local Division, Case No. 17/18638, 29 June 2017

    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
  • Excerpt Topics
    SOUTH AFRICA 7

    South Africa 7. Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa, 1 October 2014

    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
    SOUTH AFRICA 6

    South Africa 6. High Court, South Gauteng, Johannesburg, 6 May 2014

    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
  • Excerpt Topics
    SOUTH AFRICA 5

    South Africa 5. High Court, Western Cape Division, 24 February 2012

    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
    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
    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
  • Excerpt Topics
    SOUTH AFRICA 4

    South Africa 4. Supreme Court, Durban and Coast Local Division, 27 August 1985

    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
    306

    The court discusses the applicable period of limitation for seeking enforcement of an award.

    Period of limitation for enforcement
    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
    SOUTH AFRICA 3

    South Africa 3. Supreme Court, Durban and Coast Local Division, 13 March 1984

    103

    The court discusses the impact of the nationality of the parties on the application of the Convention. 

    Nationality of the parties no criterion
  • Excerpt Topics
    SOUTH AFRICA 2

    South Africa 2. Supreme Court, Witwatersrand Local Division, 24 February 1982

    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
    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
  • Excerpt Topics
    SOUTH AFRICA 1

    South Africa 1. Supreme Court, Transvaal Provincial Division, 16 June 1977

    500

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

    Grounds for refusal of enforcement in general