Enforcement of Annulled Arbitral Awards : A Study on the Enforcement of Annulled Foreign Arbitral Awards under the 1958 New York Convention from a Swedish Perspective

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Juridiska institutionen

Abstract: Different interpretations of the New York Convention’s Article V(1)(e) have caused inconsistencies regarding how courts deal with applications for enforcement of annulled foreign arbitral awards. Court cases from various Contracting States display that the courts have adopted different approaches to this matter. With the rising number of challenges of awards, the issue has become increasingly important. The author examines international case law to analyze the issue of enforcement of annulled arbitral awards with the purpose of suggesting a possible Swedish approach. A number of aspects support the view that national courts have discretion when deciding whether to enforce a foreign arbitral award notwithstanding that has been annulled in the country of origin. Both the New York Convention and the Swedish Arbitration Act leaves narrow room for the court to exercise this discretion. The author suggests that enforcement of an annulled foreign arbitral award should be possible in Sweden under certain exceptional circumstances. If the competent authority in the country where the award was made annuls the award for reasons totally unacceptable from a Swedish point of view, the option to enforce the foreign arbitral award in Sweden should still be available. This approach is in line with the wording and purpose of both the New York Convention and the Swedish Arbitration Act. The suggested Swedish approach would not cause any serious uncertainty for the parties to the arbitration, but would create a necessary safety-valve for the courts to avoid having to refuse enforcement of a foreign arbitral award when it has been set aside for obscure reasons or by a corrupt court. As is evident from international case law, the interpretation and application of Article V(1)(e) of the New York Convention varies depending on what country enforcement is sought. To avoid contributing to further inconsistencies, it is necessary for Swedish authorities and practitioners to consider the issues addressed in the study.

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