SIXTY YEARS SINCE THE NEW YORK CONVENTION: THE EXPANSION AND EVOLUTION OF GLOBAL ARBITRAL PRACTICE
2018 marks the 60th anniversary of the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (Convention). With many events planned to commemorate the anniversary, it is also a thoughtful time to return to the genesis of the Convention and its historical trajectory to present day. The enforceability of arbitral awards remains the most valuable characteristic of arbitration according to the Queen Mary University of London and White & Case ‘2018 International Arbitration Survey: The Evolution of International Arbitration’.
The Convention entered into force during a United Nations conference at its New York headquarters on 10 June 1958 as a reaction to the Geneva treaties (the 1923 Geneva Protocol on Arbitration Clauses and 1927 Geneva Convention on the Execution of Foreign Arbitral Awards) deemed outdated for requirements like double exequatur (double requirements for leave to enforce in the countries of origin and enforcement) against the changing landscape of international trade and commerce. The goal: to adopt a new international enforcement system giving effect to foreign and non-domestic arbitral awards by national courts in enforcement proceedings and to honour the autonomy of the parties. It was a tough feat to contour and harmonise the general meaning of an international arbitral award in a manner pragmatic and applicable to many nations, and the necessary path forward. “Only by giving full value to the autonomy of the will can this result be attained in the field of conflict of laws” (Report and Preliminary Draft Convention adopted by the Committee on International Commercial Arbitration as its meeting of 13 March 1953).
Jul-Sep 2018 issue
New York International Arbitration Center (NYIAC)