Annulment of arbitral awards Archives - Page 2 of 3 - international litigation blog
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Annulment of arbitral awards

U.K. Supreme Court Clarifies Rules to Order Security As Condition to Challenge Arbitral Awards Enforcement Proceedings

On 1 March 2017, the U.K. Supreme Court (the Supreme Court) found that an arbitral award debtor should not be required to pay USD 100 million in security as a pre-condition to adjourn the enforcement of the arbitral award until a decision is taken on the annulment of the award.

The Supreme Court’s decision was issued in proceedings between Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and IPCO (Nigeria) Ltd (IPCO). The latter was awarded USD 152 million following arbitration proceedings seated in Nigeria. NNPC sought to set aside the award before the Nigerian courts initially on jurisdictional grounds and, from 2009 onwards, on allegations of fraud.

Meanwhile IPCO sought the enforcement of the arbitration award before the U.K. Commercial Court. This was granted on an ex parte basis, but was soon challenged by NNPC which sought to have the enforcement order set aside or adjourned, in light of NNPC’s ongoing challenge against the award in Nigeria. In response, the U.K. Commercial Court agreed to adjourn the enforcement order under section 103(5) of the U.K. Arbitration Act 1996 (the Act). This provision allows a court before which an enforcement action is pending to adjourn its decision pending the decision on the setting aside or suspension of the award at the seat of arbitration. In this case, however, the Commercial Court subjected the adjournment of the order to the payment of security worth USD 50 million, later increased to USD 80 million in 2008.READ MORE

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Personal Thoughts on Admissibility of Third Party Opposition Against Arbitral Awards

I wanted to share with you some general personal thoughts regarding the recent decision of the Belgian Constitutional Court (the Constitutional Court) holding that third parties should be entitled to lodge third party opposition (tierce opposition) against arbitral awards.

As we discussed before, the Constitutional Court ruled that Article 1122 of the Belgian Judicial Code violated Articles 10 and 11 of the Belgian Constitution (i.e. the provisions of the Belgian Constitution on equality and non-discrimination), as this provision allowed third parties to challenge the validity of judgments rendered by a civil or a criminal court by means of third party opposition but did not offer third parties the same possibility to challenge arbitral proceedings.

According to its current reading, third party opposition under Article 1122 of the Belgian Judicial Code aims at bringing the parties back (for new proceedings) before the same judge who previously ruled on the case in the absence of the third party. Until the decision of the Constitutional Court of 16 February 2017, however, this solution applied to judicial proceedings only.

However, now that the Constitutional Court has found that this possibility should also be offered to third parties to arbitral proceedings, does this mean that new arbitral proceedings (in the presence of the third party) will have to take place before the initial arbitrators in the event that a third party files a third party opposition?READ MORE

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Belgian Constitutional Court Rules Third Party Opposition Against Arbitral Awards Admissible

On 16 February 2017, the Belgian Constitutional Court (the Constitutional Court) held that third parties should be entitled to lodge third party opposition (tierce opposition) against arbitral awards.

This judgment arose following an arbitral award given in 2012. A company that was not a party to the arbitration proceedings but nevertheless felt aggrieved by the award initiated third party proceedings before the Brussels Court of First Instance seeking the annulment of the award. Uncertain as to whether the relevant provisions of the Belgian Judicial Code allowed a third party to stage such proceedings, the Brussels Court of First Instance stayed the proceedings and referred the matter to the Constitutional Court for a preliminary ruling.READ MORE

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French Conseil d’État Clarifies Standard of Review in Arbitral Awards Annulment Proceedings

On 9 November 2016, the French Conseil d’État (the Conseil d’État), the French Administrative Supreme Court, ruled on the standard of review to be applied by French administrative courts in actions to set aside international arbitral awards.

Under French law, an action to set aside an arbitral award should, in principle, be brought before a civil court (i.e. the Court of Appeal of the place where the award is made). However, French administrative courts have jurisdiction to hear actions to set aside arbitral awards relating to administrative contracts.

The case at hand helps clarify the uncertainty concerning the standard of review to be applied by these administrative courts.READ MORE

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Belgian Court Dismisses Russia’s Attempt to Block Yukos Awards Enforcement Proceedings

Despite the fact that I had initially told myself that I would not write about the Yukos (Yukos) case before 2017, my wish has evaporated after the Brussels Court of First Instance handed down its judgment on the matter earlier than expected (click here, for an analysis of the background of the case).

In short, in its judgment of 9 December 2016, the Brussels Court of First Instance found that Russia’s attempt to block the enforcement of Yukos Universal Ltd (YUL)’s award was inadmissible. Unfortunately (for the sake of the debate) the court therefore didn’t examine the merits of the case.READ MORE

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Yukos Awards Enforcement Proceedings – The Belgian Aspects (Part 4 – The Seizures)

Last but not least, here’s the fourth (and final) article devoted to the Belgian enforcement proceedings in the Yukos (Yukos) case.

As mentioned in previous posts, this last article is devoted to the proceedings in which Russia challenged the legality of seizures, carried out by Yukos Universal Ltd (YUL), of assets belonging to the Russian Federation or to State-related entities.READ MORE

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Yukos Awards Enforcement Proceedings – The Belgian Aspects (Part 3 – The Merits of the Case)

Without further delay, here’s the third article (of four) devoted to the hearing held in Brussels at the end of November on the exequatur of the award rendered in Yukos Universal Ltd (YUL)’s favour. For background information on the Yukos (Yukos) case, please click here, while for information regarding the inadmissibility objection raised by YUL against Russia’s third-party opposition, please click here.

As of today, with the notable exception of France, where a court recently ruled that the French enforcement proceedings could move forward (see here), most of the enforcement proceedings regarding the awards rendered in the Yukos cases have been brought to a halt following the judgment of the District Court of the Hague of 20 April 2016 which annulled those awards.

In Belgium, however, the question regarding the validity of those enforcement proceedings remains open.READ MORE

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