At the Crossroads of Legitimacy and Arbitral Autonomy – Vol. 16 No. 2

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Author: Thomas E. Carbonneau*

Published: March 2007

United States
Responsibility of Arbitrators
Recourse Against Award Generally



The consensus among like-minded national legal systems regarding standards for the court supervision of arbitral awards excludes the judicial review of the merits of awards. The 1985 UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration, along with the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (“N.Y. Convention”), both an integral part of the world law of arbitration, codify widely accepted grounds for the recognition and enforcement of international arbitral awards. They implicitly exclude any judicial reassessment of the arbitrators’ decision on the merits. A contrary policy would have undermined the independence of arbitration and its viability as a remedy. Both transborder instruments confine judicial oversight to an evaluation of the essential fairness of the arbitral proceedings.

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*Orlando Distinguished Professor of Law, Penn State University; Editor-in-Chief, World Arbitration and Mediation Review. © Thomas E. Carbonneau.