Limiting Judicial Review in International Commercial Arbitration: The New Swiss and Belgian Laws Offer Less Than They Promise* – Vol. 1 No. 3

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Author: Lee D. Neumann**

Published: October 1990

Description: Within the last several years, Switzerland and Belgium have enacted laws that purport to offer legal environments especially favorable to international commercial arbitration, particularly from the perspective of judicial review. On their face, these laws appear to offer the possibility of limiting, if not entirely eliminating, review of international arbitral awards by forum courts. Their enactment has prompted considerable discussion in legal journals. This paper examines the extent to which opportunities for challenging arbitral awards in forum courts continue to exist under the new Belgian and Swiss laws. The examination concludes that international arbitral awards rendered under these new laws enjoy less protection from judicial review than might be expected.

Part I of the paper examines the procedure for confirming, setting aside, and enforcing arbitral awards rendered under the new Swiss law, with a focus on opportunities for challenging awards in forum courts. Part II offers a similar analysis for arbitral awards rendered under the new Belgian law. Part III considers how the enforcement of Swiss and Belgian awards in foreign states under the New York Convention can be opposed by actions challenging the awards in Swiss or Belgian courts.

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*Notes & Comments
**Associate, Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton.