Managing Requests for Enforcement of Vacated Awards Under the New York Convention* – Vol. 14 No. 3

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Author: Rada Lelutiu**

Published: April 2004

Recourse Against Award Generally
Enforcement of Arbitral Awards
Grounds for Refusal of Enforcement
New York Convention



Concluded in 1958, the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the “New York Convention” or the “Convention”) was designed to put an end to the ubiquitous distrust manifested by national courts toward arbitration. The New York Convention was intended to serve two overarching objectives—greater enforceability of agreements to arbitrate and greater uniformity of enforcement practice. To that end, signatory states oblige themselves to “recognize an agreement in writing under which the parties undertake to submit to arbitration all or any differences which have arisen or which may arise between them in respect of a defined legal relationship.” Furthermore, once the arbitral tribunal renders its decision, signatory states are required to “recognize arbitral awards as binding and enforce them in accordance with the rules of procedure of the territory where the award is relied upon, under the conditions laid down in the following articles.”

Article V of the New York Convention provides a brief list of limited grounds for which recognition and enforcement of an arbitration award can be refused. It is noteworthy that the grounds contained in Article V are exclusive and, consequently, a court called upon to decide whether enforcement should be granted may deny the relief only if it finds one of the Article V considerations to be applicable. Furthermore, each one of the seven general grounds supplied is permissive, not mandatory. Thus, in contrast to Articles II and III of the Convention, which make use of the mandatory “shall,” Article V employs the permissive “may.”

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*Notes & Comments
**J.D., Columbia University School of Law, 2003. Associate, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, New York.