ENFORCEMENT OF ARBITRAL AWARDS: BE ALIVE TO THE RULE AGAINST RE-LITIGATION
As one of the many signatories to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, the UK will recognise and enforce an arbitral award made in another contracting state. The Convention’s provisions are reflected in the English Arbitration Act 1996.
The Convention is intended to ease the enforcement process and the grounds for refusing enforcement are therefore limited to an exhaustive list replicated in section 103 of the Act. The grounds include that the award has not yet become binding on the parties, or has been set aside or suspended by a competent authority of the country in which, or under the law of which, it was made, and it would be contrary to public policy to recognise or enforce the award.
Another matter for parties to consider in cases involving enforcement of arbitral awards is the rule against re-litigation, or res judicata. It is the fundamental legal and public interest principle which states that there should be finality to litigation and that defendants should not face repeated litigation in respect of the same set of circumstances. Global businesses should be aware that this rule has a wider application – in the field of international arbitration.
Oct-Dec 2017 issue
Walker Morris LLP