The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, also known as the “New York Arbitration Convention” or the “New York Convention”, is one of the key instruments in international arbitration.
The Republic of Cyprus is part of the convention along with 168 other states and proceeded with the transfer of the Convention to the national legal order with the sanctioning law – The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (Sanctioning) Law 84/79.
The above legislation is fully in line with the spirit of the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. It lays down very specific conditions which in any case must be met and only under these conditions Courts can issue a decision for the registration of the foreign arbitral award.
In particular, the most important conditions are found in Article IV (1) (a) and (b) of the Convention, which provides for the following:
(a) the duly certified original of the decision or a duly certified copy thereof
(b) the original of the agreement referred to in Article II or a duly certified copy thereof.
a) an original arbitration decision or a certified copy of it is required and;
b) an original agreement or a certified copy of it in which it is stipulated that in the event of a dispute between the parties they will proceed to arbitration.
The above conditions defined by the International Convention for the recognition of Foreign Arbitral Awards must be strictly met. There is a plethora of decisions by the Cypriot Courts where applications for the registration of Foreign Arbitral Awards were rejected, especially those regarding the non-fulfillment of the second condition for the presentation of the original agreement and/or a certified copy thereof.
Furthermore, Law 84/79 provides for an exhaustive list of specific grounds on which a party may object to the registration of a foreign arbitral award.
Grounds for objection:
- the parties to the agreement are incapacitated, or the agreement is not valid under the laws of the country
- the party against whom the award is relied upon had not been duly notified of the appointment of the Arbitrator or the Arbitration proceedings
- the arbitral award relates to matters not covered by the terms of the agreement, or that it contains decisions on matters beyond the scope of the submission to arbitration
- the composition of the arbitral authority or the arbitral procedure was not in accordance with the agreement of the parties or, in the absence of such agreement, was not in accordance with the law of the country where the arbitration was held
- the arbitral award has not become binding on the parties, or that it has been annulled or suspended by the competent authority of the country where the arbitration took place, or under the law of which the award was made
If the party objects to the registration of the foreign arbitral award and proves one of the above reasons, then the registration of the award in the Republic of Cyprus is rejected.
Finally, it is of critical importance and it is worth pointing out that the Court in these cases does not consider the substance of the Arbitration Awards nor the judgment of the Arbitrators.
The above article is purely informative in nature and in no way constitutes legal advice or opinion regarding the process of registering a foreign arbitral award.
Our Law Firm is able to undertake the processing of tasks regarding the registration of foreign arbitral awards and can offer specialized legal advice.