“Manifest Disregard of the Law” and Vacatur of Arbitral Awards in the United States – Vol. 12 No. 3-4

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AuthorNoah D. Rubins*

Published: October 2003

United States
Court Decisions
Contractual Expansion or Limitation of Judicial Review
Review on the Merits

Description: Although it is often said that one of the prime advantages of arbitration lies in the finality of arbitral awards, very often the tribunal’s signature does not mark the end of the dispute resolution process. Most jurisdictions provide for judicial review of arbitration proceedings in some form. Parties will likely be wary of a regime that completely eliminates judicial review, because they need assurance that such serious procedural defects as fraud on the arbitrators, excess of powers, or improper constitution of the tribunal will be corrected. At the same time, the proper scope and content of post-award review is the subject of debate. Judicial review of an arbitral decision can present an additional dilemma in international arbitration, in that courts in the jurisdiction where the award is made can review the arbitration proceedings by reference to local law. The arbitration site and its law, meanwhile, may have little connection with the underlying dispute, having been chosen for such reasons as procedural neutrality or the convenience of the parties.

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*Attorney, Jones Day, Washington, D.C. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Jones Day or its clients. An earlier version of this article was published in 12(2) RIVISTA DELL’ ARBITRATO 199.