Can arbitration awards be appealed or challenged in local courts? What are the grounds and procedure?

International Arbitration (4th edition)

Argentina Small Flag Argentina

Awards can be appealed before local courts unless the parties have waived such right.

The appeal together with its supporting grounds shall be raised before the arbitral tribunal within five working days of the date of notification of the award. If the arbitral tribunal considers that the appeal has been correctly filed under the applicable procedural rules, it shall notify it to the other party and provide it with the opportunity to answer it within five working days. Immediately thereafter, it shall send the file to the Court of Appeals that will decide on the merits of the appeal. If the arbitral tribunal declares the appeal inadmissible (through a generally briefly reasoned decision), the interested party has the right to file a complaint against such denial directly to the Court of Appeals within five working days as of being served with such denial. In that case, the Court of Appeals can overrule the arbitral tribunal’s decision denying the appeal and decide on its merits (Arts. 282 and 283 CP).

The annulment remedy (set aside) cannot be waived under Argentine law (Art. 760 CP). The grounds for setting aside an award are: (i) essential procedural errors in the proceedings; (ii) the award was rendered after the term for making the award had elapsed; (iii) the award includes decisions on issues that were not submitted to the arbitrators (a provision that has been construed as including ultra petita, infra petita and extra petita awards); (iv) the award is inconsistent and contains contradictory decisions; (v) the award is contrary to public policy principles and mandatory provisions of Argentine law.

The request for setting aside must be brought before the arbitral tribunal. If the arbitral tribunal considers that the annulment petition has been correctly filed under the applicable procedural rules, it shall declare the petition admissible and deliver it with the arbitration record to the second-instance court that would have heard any application to set aside a court judgment if no arbitral agreement had existed. If the arbitral tribunal declares the annulment petition inadmissible (through a generally briefly reasoned decision) the interested party has the right to file a complaint against such denial directly to the second-instance court. In that case, the court can overrule the arbitral tribunal’s decision and decide on the annulment request (Arts. 282-283 CP). According to the CP, the Court of Appeals shall decide on the annulment petition without providing the other party with an opportunity to answer the request for annulment (Art. 760 CP). However, courts have increasingly considered such limitation to be unconstitutional and provided the other party with the opportunity to file their response to the annulment petition.

Austria Small Flag Austria

Within three months after the receipt of the arbitral award, a party is entitled to file an action that the award may be set aside based on one (or more) of the following grounds:

1. a valid arbitration agreement does not exist, or the arbitral tribunal has denied its jurisdiction despite the existence of a valid arbitration agreement, or a party was under an incapacity to conclude a valid arbitration agreement under the law governing its personal status;

2. a party was not given proper notice of the appointment of an arbitrator or of the arbitral proceedings or was for other reasons unable to present its case;

3. the award deals with a dispute not covered by the arbitration agreement, or contains decisions on matters beyond the scope of the arbitration agreement or the plea of the parties for legal protection; if the default concerns only a part of the award that can be separated, only that part of the award shall be set aside;

4. the composition or constitution of the arbitral tribunal was not in accordance with a provision of this chapter or with an admissible agreement of the parties;

5. the arbitral proceedings were conducted in a manner that conflicts with the fundamental values of the Austrian legal system (ordre public);

6. the requirements according to which a court judgment can be appealed by an action for revision under section 530 paragraph (1) numbers 1 – 5 have been met; [note that the grounds referred to here all relate to the circumstance that the decision was based on a fraudulent action or forged document or a criminal verdict that has since been reversed [note that the three-month time period to file the action for setting aside does not apply to this ground];

7. the subject-matter of the dispute is not arbitrable under Austrian law;

8. the arbitral award conflicts with the fundamental values of the Austrian legal system (ordre public).

Additional grounds are available to set aside an arbitral award rendered in arbitral proceedings in which either a consumer or an employee was involved.

The action to set aside an award is to be filed with the Austrian Supreme Court, which will decide as first and last instance, i.e. without possibility of a further appeal.

Bulgaria Small Flag Bulgaria

The award may be challenged only on limited grounds, which are equal to those prescribed by the Model Law and the European Convention, and only within a limited period of time – three months from the day the claimant has received the award.

The grounds for challenging the award are listed in Art.47 of ICAA and are the following:

  • the party lacked capacity at the time of the conclusion of the arbitration agreement;
  • the arbitration agreement had not been concluded or is void pursuant to the law chosen by the parties, and in the case of absence of such a choice, pursuant to this law;
  • a party had not been duly notified of the appointment of an arbitrator or of the arbitration proceedings or due to reasons beyond its control it could not participate in the proceedings;
  • the award settled a dispute which had not been provided for in the arbitration agreement or contains decisions on issues beyond the scope of the dispute; or
  • the constitution of the arbitration tribunal of the arbitration procedure was not in conformity with the agreement between the parties unless it contradicted the imperative provisions of this law (i.e. ICAA), and in the absence of an agreement – in case the provisions of this law had not been applied.

Each party may challenge the award. ICAA specifies the competent court for considering the claim, namely the Supreme Court of Cassation. It acts as a court of first instance applying CPC rules for hearing of the case by a first instance court, but its decision is final and is subject to no appeal.

United States Small Flag United States

Yes. Chapter 1 of the FAA provides the limited circumstances in which a party to the arbitration may apply to the court for the district in which the award seated to have the award vacated, modified, and corrected. 9 U.S.C. §§ 10–12. If a court vacates an arbitration award, and the arbitration agreement is still valid, the court may direct rehearing by the arbitrators.

Under 9 U.S.C. § 10, the court may be vacate an award:

(1) where the award was procured by corruption, fraud, or undue means;

(2) where there was evident partiality or corruption in the arbitrators, or either of them;

(3) where the arbitrators were guilty of misconduct in refusing to postpone the hearing, upon sufficient cause shown, or in refusing to hear evidence pertinent and material to the controversy; or of any other misbehavior by which the rights of any party have been prejudiced; or

(4) where the arbitrators exceeded their powers, or so imperfectly executed them that a mutual, final, and definite award upon the subject matter submitted was not made.
Under 9 U.S.C. § 11, the court may modify or correct an award “so as to effect the intent thereof and promote justice between the parties”:

(a) where there was an evident material miscalculation of figures or an evident material mistake in the description of any person, thing, or property referred to in the award;

(b) where the arbitrators have awarded upon a matter not submitted to them, unless it is a matter not affecting the merits of the decision upon the matter submitted;

(c) where the award is imperfect in matter of form not affecting the merits of the controversy.
The U.S. Supreme Court has held that these grounds are exclusive, and cannot be expanded by agreement of the parties. Hall St. Assocs., L.L.C. v. Mattel, Inc., 552 U.S. 576, 587 (2008).
Under Chapter 2 of the FAA, for awards recognized under the New York Convention, U.S. courts can refuse to confirm an arbitral award for the reasons discussed above. However, the courts cannot vacate, modify, or correct the award itself.

Canada Small Flag Canada

In some Canadian jurisdictions, there is no right of appeal without consent. In other jurisdictions, parties can seek leave to appeal from a judge in limited circumstances that are based on the Model Law. The rules of procedure vary between provinces and territories.

Cyprus Small Flag Cyprus

(a)Yes, arbitration awards can be appealed and challenged. In accordance with Article 20(2) Cap. 4, the award can be annulled when the arbitrator has misbehaved or has misconducted the proceedings; when the arbitration has been carried out improperly or the arbitration award has been rendered improper, the Court may overturn the arbitration award.

(b)In accordance with Article 34(2) of the 101/1987 Law, an arbitral award shall be annulled by the Court only if one of the following:

(a) The Party submitting the application for annulment shall demonstrate that:

(i) a party to the arbitration agreement referred to in section 7 was under some incapacity; or the said agreement is not valid under the law to which the parties have subjected it or, failing any indication thereon, under the law of the Republic of Cyprus; or

(ii) the party making the application was not given proper notice of the appointment of an arbitrator or of the arbitral proceedings or was otherwise unable to present his case; or

(iii) the award deals with dispute not contemplated by or not failing within the terms of the submission to arbitration, provided that, if the decision on matters submitted to arbitration can be separated from those not so submitted, only that part of the award which contains decisions on matters not submitted to arbitration may be set aside; or

(iv) the composition of the arbitral tribunal or the arbitral procedure was not in accordance with the agreements of the parties, unless such agreements was in conflict with the provision of the Law, or, failing such agreement, was not in accordance with this Law; or

(b) a Court finds that:

(i) the subject – matter of the dispute is not capable of settlement by arbitration under the law of the Republic of Cyprus; or

(ii) the award is in conflict with provisions relating to public order of the Republic of Cyprus.

UAE Small Flag UAE

UAE- Federal Jurisdiction
Should a party wish to nullify an arbitral award, it may only do so by ‘lodging an action of nullity with the Court’ (Article 53) or by objecting during the process for recognising an arbitral award.

The Process for Challenging
Pursuant to Article 54 of the UAE Arbitration Law, a party has 30 days, from the date of notification of the arbitral award to apply to nullify the arbitral award.
The Court may, at the request of a party, stay enforcement proceedings for a period of up to 60 days in order to provide the Arbitral Tribunal with the opportunity to address any possible grounds for award nullification.

The Grounds for Challenging
The party which intends the arbitral award to be nullified, pursuant to Article 53 of the UAE Arbitration Law, can do so on the following grounds:

a. there was no arbitration agreement, or such agreement was null and void or forfeited pursuant the law applied by the parties or the UAE Arbitration Law, where no law was chosen;

b. a party to the arbitration agreement was incapacitated or lacked capacity, at the time of its conclusion;

c. a party had no legal capacity to be part of the arbitration;

d. a party was unable to submit his statement of defence due to having been given improper notice of the appointment of an arbitrator or arbitral proceedings, or by reason of a failure on behalf of the Tribunal, or for any reasons outside the control the party;

e. the arbitral award did not apply the law agreed by the parties, to the subject of the dispute;

f. the appointment and/or composition of the Arbitral Tribunal was contrary to the UAE Arbitration Law or the agreement of the parties;

g. the arbitral process is void in such a way that it influenced the arbitral award, or the arbitral award was issued after the deadline for issuing the arbitral award; and

h. the arbitral award addressed matters not covered by the arbitration agreement, or beyond the scope of the arbitration, unless such matters can be separated from the arbitral award.

Should a dissatisfied party wish to appeal Court’ decision on nullification of an arbitral award, it may do so through the Court of Cassation.

UAE - Common Law Jurisdictions
The DIFC Arbitration Law (Article 41) and the ADGM Regulations (Regulation 53) set out the grounds on which an application for setting aside award may be made.

DIFC
An arbitral award may be set aside under the DIFC Arbitration Law where the Court finds that:
‘the subject-matter of the dispute is not capable of settlement by arbitration under DIFC Law;
the dispute is expressly referred to a different body or tribunal for resolution under this Law or any mandatory provision of DIFC Law; or
the award is in conflict with the public policy of the UAE.
The first and last requirement listed above are essentially the same as in Article V of the New York Convention.

ADGM
An arbitral award may be set aside under the ADGM Regulations only where the Court of First Instance finds that:
‘the subject-matter of the dispute is not capable of settlement by arbitration under the Laws of the ADGM’; or
the recognition or enforcement of the award would be contrary to the public policy of the UAE’.

The above grounds are essentially the same as those on which a foreign arbitral award may be refused recognition and enforcement under Article V of the New York Convention.

United Kingdom Small Flag United Kingdom

Generally, the grounds for challenging a domestic or foreign award are (a) absence of substantive jurisdiction (s.67(1)); or (b) a serious irregularity affecting the tribunal, the proceedings or the award (s.68). Unless otherwise agreed, the parties can appeal to the court on a question of law arising out of an award made in the proceedings (s.69(1)). Appeals under s.69 are difficult and succeed only in rare circumstances.

The procedure for appeal and challenge is outlined in the Civil Procedure Rules.

Singapore Small Flag Singapore

In Singapore, possible grounds for refusing enforcement of arbitral awards under Art. 34(2) of the UNCITRAL Model Law (and under s 31(2) of the IAA for foreign arbitral awards) include (1) incapacity, (2) invalidity of the arbitration agreement, (3) failure to provide proper notice or the inability to present one’s case, (4) the award having exceeded the scope of the arbitration agreement, (5) defective composition of the tribunal or arbitral procedure (with some exceptions), and (6) the award not being binding or having been set aside or suspended. S 31(4) of the IAA also provides the further possible grounds for refusing enforcement of a foreign arbitral award of (7) the subject matter not being capable of settlement by arbitration; and (8) conflict with the public policy of Singapore.
In addition to the above, s 24 of the IAA also provides the following two (2) grounds for setting aside an arbitral award:

(a) the making of the award was induced or affected by fraud or corruption; or

(b) a breach of the rules of natural justice occurred in connection with the making of the award by which the rights of any party have been prejudiced’.

The procedure to set aside an arbitral award in Singapore under the IAA is set out in the Singapore Rules of Court (O. 69A, r. 2) and requires making application via an originating summons no more than three (3) months after the later of the following dates:

(a) ‘the date on which the plaintiff received the award;

(b) if a request is made under Article 33 of the Model Law, the date on which that request is disposed of by the arbitral tribunal’.

O. 69A, r. 4A provides that the affidavit in support must —

(a) ‘state the grounds in support of the application;

(b) have exhibited to it a copy of the arbitration agreement or any record of the content of the arbitration agreement, the award and any other document relied on by the plaintiff;

(c) set out any evidence relied on by the plaintiff; and

(d) be served with the originating summons’.

South Korea Small Flag South Korea

An arbitral award has the same effect on the parties as a final and conclusive judgment of a court but without a right of appeal (Articles 35 of the Arbitration Act (the “Act”)). The Act states that a court must recognize an arbitral award unless any of the following grounds exists: (i) incapacity of a party to the arbitration agreement or lack of validity of the arbitration agreement (Article 36(2)1(a) of the Act); (ii) lack of proper notice of the appointment of arbitrators or of the arbitral proceeding, or the other party was otherwise unable to present its case (Article 36(2)1(b) of the Act); (iii) the award concerns a dispute which is not contemplated by or not falling within the terms of the submission to arbitration, or contains decisions on matters beyond the scope of the submission to arbitration (Article 36(2)1(c) of the Act); (iv) the constitution of the arbitral tribunal or the arbitral proceedings were not in accordance with the agreement of the parties or the Act (Article 36(2)1(d) of the Act); (v) the subject matter of the dispute cannot be settled by arbitration under Korean law (Article 36(2)2(a) of the Act); and (v) the arbitral award is in conflict with the good morals and other forms of social order of the Republic of Korea (Article 36(2)2(b) of the Act).

A protest against an arbitral award may be made only by filing a lawsuit for setting aside the arbitral award within 3 months from the receipt of the arbitral award and before any decision of a Korean court recognizing or enforcing the award becomes final and conclusive (Articles 36(3) and 36(4) of the Arbitration Act). Grounds for setting aside an award include: (i) invalidity of the arbitration agreement; (ii) absence of proper notice of arbitrator appointment or arbitral proceedings; (iii) the subject-matter of the dispute not being capable of settlement by arbitration under the law of the Republic of Korea; and (iv) the award being in conflict with the good morals and other forms of social order of the Republic of Korea (Article 36(2) of the Act).

Germany Small Flag Germany

Absent different agreements of the parties, the German arbitration law does not provide for an appeal process. The only recourse following an arbitral award is to commence setting-aside proceedings.

Section 1059 ZPO provides for the details of the setting-aside proceedings for a domestic arbitral award, i.e. an award rendered by an arbitral tribunal with its seat in Germany. These proceedings have to be initiated within three months from the date of service of the arbitral award.

The list of grounds to set aside a domestic arbitral award mirrors the grounds for the refusal of recognition or end-enforcement of foreign awards under the New York Conventions. The grounds listed in section 1059 ZPO include in particular:

  • The violation of due process (section 1059 (2) no. 1 lit. a) ZPO);
  • violation of the parties' arbitration agreement (section 1059 (2) no. 1 lit. b) ZPO), which does not only include the agreement to arbitrate but also agreements of the parties during the arbitration, e.g. with respect to the taking of evidence;
  • The arbitral tribunal exceeding its competence (section 1059 (2) no. 1 lit. c.) ZPO); and
  • The violation of the policy (section 1059 (2) no. 2 lit. b. ZPO).

Other additional circumstances may not be taken into account by the respective district court. In particular, there is no review of the arbitral award on substance.

In terms of a decision, the district court can either set aside the arbitral award or refer the proceedings back to the arbitral tribunal where such option would be appropriate and requested (section 1059 (4) ZPO). Where possible, the dispute is referred back to the initial arbitral tribunal if the award is set aside, in which case the proceedings will continue before the original arbitral tribunal. Whether such option is available depends also on the circumstances and reasons of the decision to set aside the original award. E.g., if the decision is based on lack of due process or the arbitral tribunal exceeding its competence, continuing before the original arbitral tribunal may not be a reasonable option. In such case the arbitral proceedings must be repeated and started from the very beginning.

In June 2018 the Federal High Court (Bundesgerichtshof) stated that section 1059 (4) ZPO shall not only apply in set-aside proceedings but also in the proceedings for a declaration of enforceability if the application for a declaration of enforceability under the annulment of the award is to be rejected because one of the ground for setting-aside in section 1059 (2) ZPO exists (Bundesgerichtshof, 7. June 2018 – I ZB 70/17). The application requirement of section 1059 (4) ZPO also applies to a corresponding application of this provision in the procedure for enforceability of the award.

The court of appeals (Oberlandesgericht) is the competent court to decide on the setting aside proceedings. Its decision can be appealed to the Federal High Court (Bundesgerichtshof). Such appeal is limited to the reasons listed in section 1062 (1) ZPO, i.e. issues regarding the admissibility of arbitration proceedings, jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal, as well as the reasons for setting aside the award. Outside these reasons, the decision of the court is binding and cannot be appealed.

India Small Flag India

Yes, an arbitration award can be appealed or challenged under section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation act, 1996 wherein it can be set aside by the court.

(I) Challenging or application to set aside a domestic award under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996:

There are following grounds of setting aside of arbitration award

a) Party was under some incapacity

b) Arbitration agreement was not valid under the law

c) Party was not given proper notice of the appointment of an arbitrator

d) Arbitral award deals with a dispute not contemplated by or not falling within the terms of the submission to arbitration

e) The composition of the arbitral tribunal or the arbitral procedure was not in accordance with the agreement of the parties

If the Court finds that:

a) That the subject matter was not capable of settlement or;

b) Arbitral award in conflict with the public policy of India

Award will be in conflict with the public policy of India only if:

b) The making of the award was induced, or affected by fraud or corruption or was in violation of Section 75

c) It is in contravention with the fundamental policy of Indian law

d) It is against the basic notions of moral and justice

Procedure:

Such appeal or challenge need to be filed within a period of 90 days from the date of receipt of such award, however, the Court has a power to extend the time for another 30 days, if sufficient cause has been shown. After the lapse of 120 days, the Courts have no power to entertain any challenge to the Award. The challenge to the Award needs to be filed before the competent Court which has territorial as well as pecuniary original jurisdiction.

(II) For Appeals under Section 37 of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996:

a) Refusing to refer the parties to arbitration under Section 8;

b) Granting or refusing to grant any measure under Section 9;

c) Setting aside or refusing to set aside an arbitral award under Section 34

Appeal against an order by the Tribunal

a) Accepting plea i.e. that the arbitral tribunal does have any jurisdiction under Section16(2)

b) Granting or refusing an interim measure under Section 17

(III) Regarding Foreign Award, the Indian Court has no power to set aside or hear Appeal against that Award, however, at the time of execution, the Indian Courts have power to refuse the enforcement of such Foreign Award on the following grounds, as per section 48 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996:

Enforcement of a foreign award may be refused, at the request of the party againstwhom it is invoked, only if that party furnishes to the court proof that —

The parties to the agreement referred to in section 44 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 were, under the law applicable to them, under some incapacity or the said agreement is not valid under the law to which the parties have subjected it or, failing any indication thereon, under the law of the country where the award was made; or

(a) the party against whom the award is invoked was not given proper notice of the appointment of the arbitrator or of the arbitral proceedings or was otherwise unable to present his case; or

(b) the award deals with a difference not contemplated by or not falling within the terms of the submission to arbitration, or it contains decisions on matters beyond the scope of the submission to arbitration. Provided that, if the decisions on matters submitted to arbitration can be separated from those not so submitted, that part of the award which contains decisions on matters submitted to arbitration may be enforced; or

(c) the composition of the arbitral authority or the arbitral procedure was not in accordance with the agreement of the parties, or, failing such agreement, was not in accordance with the law of the country where the arbitration took place ; or

(d) the award has not yet become binding on the parties, or has been set aside or suspended by a competent authority of the country in which, or under the law of which, that award was made.

(IV) Enforcement of an arbitral award may also be refused if the court finds that—The subject –matter of the difference is not capable of settlement by arbitration under the law of India; or

(a) the enforcement of the award would be contrary to the public policy of India.That an award is in conflict with the public policy of India, only if,--

i. The making of the award was induced or affected by fraud or corruption or was in violation of section 75 or section 81; or

ii. it is in contravention with the fundamental policy of Indian law; or

iii. it is in conflict with the most basic notions of morality or justice.

The test as to whether there is a contravention with the fundamental policy of Indian law shall not entail a review on the merits of the dispute.

(V) If an application for the setting aside or suspension of the award has been made toa competent authority referred to in clause (e) of sub-section (1) the Court may, if it considers it proper, adjourn the decision on the enforcement of the award and may also, on the application of the party claiming enforcement of the award, order the other party to give suitable security.

Indonesia Small Flag Indonesia

Arbitration awards are not subject to appeal. Indonesian courts do not have the jurisdiction to re-examine a case where the parties are bound by an arbitration agreement. However, as mentioned in answer 4 above, the Arbitration Law allows a party to file a request for annulment of an award if:

  • it can be proven that the documents submitted during the arbitration proceedings were falsified;
  • a determinative document was concealed by the other party during the arbitration proceeding and is found after the award has been issued; or
  • the award is issued as a result of fraud by one of the parties.

The application shall be brought before the local court having jurisdiction over the respondent. The court must render a decision within 30 days after it received the annulment request. In practice, this timeframe is not strictly followed. A local court annulment can also be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Liechtenstein Small Flag Liechtenstein

The (only) legal remedy available against an arbitral award is an application to the ordinary court to set aside the award. Grounds on the basis of which such application can be brought are the following: (a) the lack of a valid arbitration agreement, the denial of the arbitral tribunal’s jurisdiction despite the existence of a valid arbitration agreement, or the lack of capacity of a party under the applicable law to enter into an arbitration agreement; (b) the lack of notification of a party about the arbitral proceedings or about the appointment of the arbitrators; (c) the arbitral award exceeded the scope of the arbitration agreement; (d) the composition of the arbitral tribunal was not in compliance with either the agreement between the parties or the applicable provisions of the Liechtenstein CCP; (e) the arbitral proceedings were conducted in a way violating the Liechtenstein procedural ordre public; f) the prerequisites that would otherwise allow the reinstatement of ordinary court proceedings have been fulfilled; or (g) the subject matter of the dispute is not arbitrable under national law, or the arbitral award violated the Liechtenstein substantive ordre public (see § 628 para. 2 Liechtenstein CCP).

Malaysia Small Flag Malaysia

Courts generally do not exercise appellate jurisdiction over arbitration awards. In this respect, please note the Court of Appeal decision in Pembinaan LCL Sdn Bhd v SK Styrofoam (M) Sdn Bhd [2007] 4 MLJ 113 where the Court of Appeal held, inter alia, that ‘It is the unanimous view of all the authorities that the High Court in exercising its statutory jurisdiction under the Arbitration Act 1952 does not enjoy appellate jurisdiction’. Although this case was decided under the repealed Arbitration Act 1952, currentlly, the position of law remains the same.

Nevertheless, Section 37 of the Arbitration Act provides that a party to an arbitration proceeding may make an application to the High Court for an order to set aside an arbitration award. Pursuant to Section 37(4) of the Arbitration Act, an application to set aside an arbitration award must be made within 90 days of the date the aggrieved party has received the arbitration award.

The grounds to set aside an arbitration award are also set out under Section 37 of the Arbitration Act, which include but are not limited to the following:-

  1. The award is in contrary to public policy;
  2. The subject matter of the dispute is not capable of settlement by arbitration under the laws of Malaysia;
  3. There was a breach of the rules of natural justice;
  4. The making of the award was induced or affected by fraud or corruption;
  5. The aggrieved party was not given proper notice of the appointment of an arbitrator or was otherwise unable to present its case;
  6. The award deals with a dispute not falling within the terms of the submission to arbitration;
  7. The award contains decision on matters beyond the scope of the submission to arbitration.

France Small Flag France

Arbitral awards rendered in France can be challenged and set aside by French courts.

In domestic arbitration, enforcement of an award is stayed upon the filing of an appeal or action to set aside, or until the time limit for such an appeal or application has expired, unless the award states that it is provisionally enforceable (FCCP Article 1496). By contrast, FCCP Article 1526 provides that, in international arbitration, neither an action to set aside an award nor an appeal against an enforcement order shall suspend enforcement of an award. As a result, an award is immediately enforceable even if it has been challenged, except where the Court of Appeal suspends or limits the enforcement to preserve the rights of one of the parties.

In international arbitration, the award can be set aside but not appealed. As a rule, when the place of arbitration is in France, a party can challenge an award before the Court of Appeal of the place where the award was made (FCCP Article 1519).

FCCP Article 1520 provides five grounds to set aside an award in international arbitration:

• The tribunal arbitral wrongly assumed or declined jurisdiction;

• The arbitral tribunal was not properly constituted;

• The arbitral tribunal ruled without complying with the terms of the arbitral reference;

• Due process was violated;

• Recognition or enforcement of the award would be contrary to French international public policy.
In domestic arbitration, the award can be appealed if the Parties have so agreed (FCCP Articles 1489 and 1490). If the Parties have not provided for a right to appeal, the domestic award can be set aside on 6 grounds (FCCP Article 1492):

• Same 5 grounds as above concerning international arbitration (except that French domestic public policy is considered for domestic awards, not international public policy).

• There are no reasons stated for the award, there is no mention of the date of the award, there is no indication of the name or signature of the arbitrators, or, the award was not rendered by a majority.

Egypt Small Flag Egypt

An award is not subject of an appeal before the Egyptian courts, but can be subject to an action for setting aside. Save for setting aside (annulment), any other form of challenge of or recourse against the arbitral award is strictly prohibited by the EAL. (article 52)

Accordingly, the EAL expressly provides in article 53 thereof for an exhaustive list of the grounds according to which an award may be set aside or annulled, and reads:

1. an arbitral award may be annulled only:

a) If there is no arbitration agreement, if it was void, voidable or its duration had elapsed;

b) If either party to the arbitration agreement was at the time of the conclusion of the arbitration

Agreement fully or partially incapacitated according to the law governing its legal capacity;

c) If either party to the arbitration was unable to present its case as a result of not being given proper notice of the appointment of an arbitrator or of the arbitral proceedings, or for any other reason beyond its control;

d) If the arbitral award excluded the application of the law agreed upon by the parties to govern the merits of the dispute;

e) If the composition of the arbitral tribunal or the appointment of the arbitrators was in conflict with the EAL or the parties’ agreement;

f) If the arbitral award dealt with matters not falling within the scope of the arbitration agreement or exceeding the limits of this agreement. However, in the case when matters falling within the scope of the arbitration can be separated from the part of the award which contains matters not included within the scope of the arbitration, the nullity affects exclusively the latter parts only;

g) If the arbitral award itself or the arbitration procedures affecting the award contain a legal violation that causes nullity.

2. The court adjudicating the action for annulment shall ipso jure annul the arbitral award if it is in conflict with the public policy in the Arab Republic of Egypt.’

The arbitration law provides that the nullity action is brought before the competent court within 90 days from the date of notification of the arbitral award to the party against whom it was rendered. (article 54.1)

Mexico Small Flag Mexico

Awards cannot be appealed but, as mentioned in the above answer, the parties can request the annulment of an award, request that must be done within three months of the date that notice is given of the award.

Pursuant to article 1457 of the Commerce Code, awards can only be annulled, when the party requesting the annulment can be able to prove:

  1. One of the parties to the arbitration agreement was affected by some disability, or that said agreement is not valid under the law to which the parties have submitted it, or if nothing had been indicated to that respect under Mexican law;
  2. It was not duly notified of the appointment of an arbitrator or of the arbitration proceedings, or not he could, for any other reason, assert his rights;
  3. The award refers to a dispute not foreseen in the arbitration agreement or contains decisions that exceed the terms of the arbitration agreement. However, if the provisions of the award that are refer to the issues submitted to arbitration can be separated from those that are not, only the latter can be cancelled; or
  4. The composition of the arbitral tribunal or the arbitral procedure were not adjusted in accordance with the agreement between the parties, unless such agreement conflicts with a provision of the Commerce Code regarding the specifications for arbitral proceedings.

As well, the award can be annulled if the judge verifies that according to the Mexican legislation, the object of the controversy is not subject to arbitration, or that the award is contrary to public policy.

Nigeria Small Flag Nigeria

The law does not allow an appeal to be lodged against an arbitral award. However, a party to a domestic arbitration may within three (3) months from the date of the award apply to a High Court to have an award set aside on grounds that the: (i) tribunal exceeded its mandate or jurisdiction; (ii) tribunal was guilty of misconduct; or (iii) award was improperly procured. See sections 29-30, the ACA. Misconduct entails a wide range of violations such as breach of fair hearing, corruption, taking of bribes, partiality of the arbitrators, failure to comply with the terms, express or implied, of the arbitration agreement. See A. Savoia Ltd. v. Sonubi (2000) 12 NWLR (Pt. 682) 539. In fact, challenges regarding the misconduct of the tribunal or an arbitrator are open to a wide range of interpretations and parties are generally able to allege several grounds of challenge. Stabilini Visinoni Ltd. v. Mallinson & Partners Ltd. (2014) LPELR-23090(CA).

In addition to the foregoing grounds, arbitral awards delivered in international arbitrations may be challenged or set aside on the following additional grounds: (i) incapacity of a party to the arbitration agreement; (ii) invalidity of the arbitration agreement under the law which the parties have indicated should apply under the laws of Nigeria; (iii) the party seeking to set aside the award is not given proper notice of the appointment of an arbitrator or of the arbitral proceedings or was otherwise unable to present his case; (iv) the award deals with a dispute not contemplated by or not falling within the terms of the submission to arbitration under the laws of Nigeria; (v) the award contains decisions on matters which are beyond the scope of the submission to arbitration, (however if the decisions on matters submitted to arbitration can be separated from those not submitted, only that part of the award which contains decisions on matters submitted to arbitration may be recognised and enforced); (vi) the composition of the arbitral tribunal, or the arbitral procedure, was not in accordance with the agreement of the parties; (vii) there is no agreement between the parties that the composition of the arbitral tribunal, or the arbitral procedure, was not in accordance with the law of the country where the arbitration took place; or (viii) that the award has not yet become binding on the parties or has been set aside or suspended by a court of the country in which, or under the law of which, the award was made; or (ix) that the recognition or enforcement of the award is against public policy of Nigeria. See sections 48 and 52 of the ACA.

A party that is aggrieved by an arbitral award can apply to a High Court usually by way of an originating motion seeking to set aside the award within three months of the date of the award or after the correction of the award. The High Court may set aside the award or part of the award if the party making the application proves that the award or a part of it contains decisions on matters which were beyond the scope of the submission to arbitration. Where an application to set aside an award is brought, the High Court may, at the request of a party, suspend its proceedings for a period that it deems appropriate so that the arbitral tribunal can resume the arbitral proceedings or take other actions to eliminate the grounds for the setting aside of the award.

Norway Small Flag Norway

Mistakes in computation or any clerical or typographical errors may be corrected by the tribunal ex officio within one month of the issue of the award. The tribunal will hear the parties before making a correction. If the tribunal finds that the request is justified, it must make the correction within one month of the receipt of the request.

Save for any deviating agreement between the parties, the tribunal may also make an additional award on claims brought before it under the arbitral proceedings which should have been included in the original award. Any additional awards must be requested by one of the parties within one month of the receipt of the original award. The additional award must be made within two months of receipt of the request.

An arbitral award cannot be appealed unless agreed by the parties. However, awards may be set aside by a nullity procedure before the ordinary courts if:

  • one of the parties to the arbitration agreement lacks legal capacity, or the agreement is invalid under the laws to which the parties have agreed or, failing such agreement, under Norwegian law;
  • the party bringing the action for setting aside the award was not given sufficient notice of the appointment of an arbitrator or of the arbitration, or was not given an opportunity to present its case;
  • the arbitral award falls outside the scope of the arbitral tribunal’s jurisdiction;
  • the composition of the arbitral tribunal was incorrect; or
  • the arbitral procedure was contrary to law or the parties’ agreement and it is obvious that this may have affected the decision.

When the issue of an arbitral award’s validity is brought before the courts, the court will set aside the award if:

  • the dispute was not capable of being determined by arbitration under Norwegian law; or
  • enforcement or recognition of the arbitral award is contrary to public policy.

If the grounds for invalidity affect only part of the award, only that part will be considered invalid.

The nullity procedure, by way of issuing a writ before the ordinary courts, must be initiated within three months of receipt of the award. However, if the tribunal corrects mistakes in the award, makes an additional award or handles any request for any corrections or additional awards, the deadline for initiating a nullity procedure before the courts is three months of receipt of the decision.

If the court finds grounds to set aside the award it may, at the request of a party, adjourn the action for setting aside the award and refer the case back to the tribunal for further processing and a new decision if the court finds that this may result in the reversal of the grounds for setting aside the award.

Setting aside an arbitral award implies that the arbitration agreement again becomes effective, unless otherwise agreed by the parties or implied in the judgment.

Philippines Small Flag Philippines

Any party to a domestic arbitration, not later than thirty (30) days from receipt of the arbitral award, may file petition with the appropriate Regional Trial Court to vacate an arbitral award on the following grounds:

  1. the award was procured through corruption, fraud or undue means;
  2. there was evident partiality or corruption in the arbitral tribunal or any of its members;
  3. the arbitral tribunal was guilty of misconduct or any form of misbehavior that materially prejudiced the rights of any party;
  4. one or more arbitrators were disqualified to act as such under the law but willfully refrained from disclosing the disqualification;
  5. the arbitral tribunal exceeded its powers or imperfectly executed them that a complete, final and definite award upon the matter submitted to them was not made;
  6. no arbitration agreement existed or is invalid based on the grounds to revoke a contract, or is unenforceable; or
  7. a party to the arbitration is a minor or judicially declared incompetent. (Section 24, Arbitration Law vis-à-vis Section 40, ADR Act; Rule 11.4(A), Special ADR Rules).

Any party to an international commercial arbitration in the Philippines, not later than three (3) months from receipt of the arbitral award, may file a petition with the appropriate Regional Trial Court to set aside or refuse the enforcement of the arbitral award on the following exclusive grounds:

  1. a party to the arbitration agreement was under some incapacity, or the said agreement is not valid under the law to which the parties have subjected it or, failing any indication thereof, under Philippine law;
  2. the party making the application to set aside or resist enforcement was not given proper notice of the appointment of an arbitrator or of the arbitral proceedings or was otherwise unable to present his case;
  3. the award deals with a dispute not contemplated by or not falling within the terms of the submission to arbitration, or contains decisions on matters beyond the scope of the submission to arbitration;
  4. the composition of the arbitral tribunal or the arbitral procedure was not in accordance with the agreement of the parties;
  5. the subject-matter of the dispute is not capable of settlement by arbitration under the law of the Philippines; or
  6. the recognition or enforcement of the award would be contrary to public policy. (Rule 12.4, Special ADR Rules).

As regards a foreign arbitration, any party thereto, at any time after receipt of a foreign arbitral award, may petition with the appropriate Regional Trial Court to refuse recognition and enforcement of a foreign arbitral award on the same exclusive grounds as those for international commercial arbitration in the Philippines, with the addition of the ground that the award has not yet become binding on the parties or has been set aside or suspended by a court of the country in which that award was made. (Sec. 42 and 43, ADR Act; Rule 13.4, Special ADR Rules).

Saudi Arabia Small Flag Saudi Arabia

Under Article 49 of the Arbitration Law, an arbitral award that has been issued in the Kingdom is non-appealable in any way, except through an application to the competent court to have the award set aside ("nullified") on limited, enumerated procedural and jurisdictional grounds. Thus, appeals on the merits are not permitted.

Under Article 50(1), an application to have an arbitral award nullified will only be accepted in limited circumstances, including: (i) where no arbitration agreement exists or such agreement is void or has expired by lapse of time; (ii) incapacity of one of the parties at the time of the signing of the arbitration agreement; (iii) lack of due process; (iv) if the tribunal excludes the application of rules agreed by the parties; (v) irregularities in the constitution of the tribunal; (vi) if the tribunal exceeds its mandate; or (vii) if the tribunal fails to comply with the requirements for issuing the award and if such failure has resulted in an adverse effect on the award.

It is important to note that it is possible to appeal an award issued in KSA on the ground that the award is contrary to Islamic law and public order. Due to the fact that the Arbitration Law is relatively recent, it is not clear yet whether the court would re-examine the underlying merits of the case.

There is only one level of appeal of a domestic arbitral award to the court originally competent to hear the dispute. Nullification applications are submitted directly to said court on one or more of the procedural grounds explained above.

Chile Small Flag Chile

The only available recourse against an international arbitral award in Chile is the application for setting aside in accordance to Article 34 of the ICA Act. This has been totally supported by the Chilean highest national courts through several decisions.
The award may be set aside by the competent court of appeals only if: (a) the party making the application furnishes proof that: (i) a party to the arbitration agreement was under some incapacity; or the said agreement is not valid under the law to which the parties have subjected it or, failing any indication thereon, under Chilean law; or (ii) the party making the application was not given proper notice of the appointment of an arbitrator or of the arbitral proceedings or was otherwise unable to present his case; or (iii) the award deals with a dispute not contemplated by or not falling within the terms of the submission to arbitration, or contains decisions on matters beyond the scope of the submission to arbitration, provided that, if the decisions on matters submitted to arbitration can be separated from those not so submitted, only that part of the award which contains decisions on matters not submitted to arbitration may be set aside; or (iv) the composition of the arbitral tribunal or the arbitral procedure was not in accordance with the agreement of the parties, unless such agreement was in conflict with a provision of this Law from which the parties cannot derogate, or, failing such agreement, was not in accordance with the ICA Act; or (b) the court finds that: (i) the subject-matter of the dispute is not capable of settlement by arbitration under Chilean law; or (ii) the award is in conflict with the public policy of Chile.
Up to date Chilean courts have not set aside any award, showing an objective friendly approach to arbitration.

In domestic arbitration, there are recourses against the awards, which can be waived in advance except one kind of annulment recourse (recurso de casación) based on lack of competence or ultra petita, and a disciplinary action against the arbitrator in case of serious infraction or abuse (recurso de queja).
In arbitrations administered by CAM Santiago, only a very low rate of awards is successfully challenged.

Taiwan Small Flag Taiwan

While a party may not directly appeal the decision of the tribunal in the award, a party dissatisfied with the result may request a court to set aside the award under Article 40 of the AL on grounds of any of the following circumstances:

  1. If the circumstances for refusing enforcement under Article 38 of the AL existed;
  2. The arbitration agreement has not been constituted, was invalid or has not entered into effect/became invalid at the time the tribunal concluded its hearings;
  3. The tribunal failed to allow a party the opportunity to present its arguments, or a party has not been properly represented during the arbitration procedure;
  4. The constitution of the tribunal or the arbitration procedure was in violation of the arbitration agreement or the law to the extent that the result is affected;
  5. The arbitrator(s) violated the AL on notification duties and has demonstrated clear bias or continued to stay on the tribunal despite a party having petitioned for recusal, unless the recusal petition itself was rejected by the court;
  6. The arbitrator(s) has committed a criminal offense in failing to perform his/her duties in the arbitration;
  7. The parties or their representatives have committed a criminal offense in relation to the arbitration;
  8. The evidence or the translated contents of evidence that the award was based on have been forged, altered or contain other falsities; or
  9. A civil, criminal or administrative decision that was used as the basis for the award has been subsequently overturned by a final court or administrative decision.

For (6) through (8), the person(s) must be convicted of the offense, or the criminal procedure cannot start or continue for reasons other than insufficient evidence.
For (5) through (9), the circumstance must be sufficient to have had an impact on the award.

Article 41 of the AL provides that for an action to set aside an award, the district court where the award was rendered has jurisdiction. The petition must be submitted within 30 days of service or receipt of the award. If any of the circumstances under (6) through (9) above is present, and the action to set aside the award was not timely brought for reasons not attributable to the petitioner, the 30-day period starts tolling from the day the petitioner became aware of such circumstances to set aside the award. However, no petition to set aside an award will be accepted if the award was rendered more than 5 years ago.

Switzerland Small Flag Switzerland

In Switzerland an arbitral award is, in principle, deemed final, which is why appeals against arbitral awards do – as a rule – not have suspensive effect. In practice, however, when an appeal is filed, the parties are nevertheless asked not to commence enforcement proceedings.
Both in international and domestic arbitration an arbitral award, whether final or partial, may only be appealed to the Swiss Federal Tribunal (art. 191 PILA and art. 389 para 1 CPC), i.e. the principle of one instance of appeals applies, such instance being the highest court in the country. In domestic arbitration, pursuant to art. 390 para 1 CPC, the parties are given the option to agree that the arbitral award shall first be appealed to the cantonal high court at the seat of arbitration.

Swiss Law provides for only a very restricted number of grounds on which arbitral awards may be appealed. In international arbitration the grounds for appeal provided by art. 190 para 2 PILA are: (i) the irregular composition of the arbitral tribunal, (ii) an incorrect decision on jurisdiction, (iii) the fact that the arbitral tribunal rendered a decision beyond the claims made by the parties or did not answer all claims raised, (iv) the violation of equal treatment of the parties or their right to be heard, and (v) a violation of the (procedural or substantive) principles of public policy.

In domestic arbitration arbitral awards may be appealed on two additional grounds pursuant to art. 393 CPC, namely (i) if the arbitral award is arbitrary in its result due to it being based on findings that are obviously contrary to the facts as stated in the case file or because it constitutes an obvious violation of law or equity, and (ii) if the costs and compensation fixed by the arbitral tribunal are obviously excessive.

Appeals to the Swiss Federal Tribunal are governed by the Federal Tribunal Act (the CPC governs the procedure for appeals to the cantonal court if so chosen by the parties in domestic arbitration). In both proceedings the appeal must be filed in writing within 30 days of notification of the award.

Chances of success with appeals against arbitral awards are remote. Based on available statistics, the chances of success to appeal an arbitral award on all available grounds other than jurisdiction range around 7%, while appeals on grounds of lack of jurisdiction have a statistical chance of success of about 10%. In addition, appeals proceedings are conducted rather swiftly. A decision of the Swiss Federal Tribunal can generally be expected to be rendered within 6 to 8 months following the lodging of the appeal.

Greece Small Flag Greece

In domestic arbitration, parties are not allowed to take an appeal against the arbitral award before the State Courts (article 895 para. 1 GrCCP). The arbitration agreement may provide for an appeal to be taken before other arbitrators (article 895 para. 1 GrCCP), however this is obviously something different.

According to article 897 GrCCP, an arbitral award rendered in domestic arbitration may be set aside, in whole or in part, only by virtue of a court decision on the following grounds: (1) if the arbitration agreement is null and void; (2) if the award was rendered after the arbitration agreement had ceased to exist; (3) if the arbitrators that rendered the award were appointed in violation of the provisions of the arbitration agreement, or of the law, or if the parties had already revoked them, or if they rendered the award despite the fact that they had already been successfully challenged; (4) if the arbitrators that rendered the award acted in excess of the powers vested in them by the arbitration agreement or by the law; (5) if the provisions of paragraph 2 of article 886 GrCCP [regarding the principle of equal treatment], or of articles 891 GrCCP [regarding the majority vote] and 892 GrCCP [regarding the form of the award] were violated; (6) if the award is contrary to public policy rules or to morality; (7) if the award is incomprehensible or contains contradictory dicta; (8) if there are grounds for the reopening of proceedings pursuant to article 544 GrCCP [this is an extraordinary legal remedy provided against final State Court decisions premised upon grounds pertaining to vast procedural irregularities as well as fraudulent conduct].

Said request for setting aside the award is adjudicated by the Court of Appeals in the district of which the award was made (article 898 GrCCP). The procedure applicable is that provided for special property disputes pursuant to articles 614 et seq. GrCCP. Against the decision rendered by the Court of Appeals the aggrieved party may file a petition for cassation with the Supreme Court.

The request for setting aside the award shall be filed within three months from the date the award was notified to the party. Both this term as well as the filing of the request per se do not prevent the enforcement of the award. Following the filing said competent court may order the stay of the enforcement proceedings, with or without a guarantee, until a final decision is issued, in case it deems that a ground pleaded is likely to succeed.

Not only the parties to the arbitration proceedings but also third parties are allowed to challenge the arbitral award assuming that they have legal standing i.e. under the condition that they are bound by its res judicata effect (see Answer to Question 23 above).

Furthermore, in domestic arbitration article 901 GrCCP provides for an additional remedy against the arbitral award, namely the action seeking a binding declaration that the award in non-existent on the following grounds: (a) that an arbitration agreement was never concluded, (b) that the subject matter of the dispute resolved by the award was non-arbitrable, and, (c) that the award was rendered against a non-existent respondent.

This declaratory action is not subject to any time limitation. Apart from that, what has already been stated as regards the request for setting aside the award as to the competent court (CoA), the procedure (special property disputes), the available legal remedies against the decision (petition for cassation before the Supreme Court) and the fact that the enforcement of the challenged award is not ipso jure stayed, applies pursuant to article 901 para. 2 GrCCP also to the declaratory action at hand.

It is noted that the non-existence of the award on said grounds may also be pleaded by means of an affirmative defense. This is due to the fact that the award.

As regards international commercial arbitral proceedings having their seat in Greece, article 34 L. 2735/1999 incorporates the provisions of Model Law as to the grounds for setting aside the award. The distinction between grounds that must be pleaded by the plaintiff and grounds that are considered ipso jure is thus preserved. As it is well known, said grounds are almost identical to those provided under article V of the New York Convention. That being said, in legal literature it is argued that their interpretation may differ given that the legal consequences pegged to the annulment of the award are different compared to the legal consequences pegged to the refusal of its recognition and enforcement in a specific country.

The same procedural rules as to the request for setting aside an award rendered in domestic arbitral proceedings apply with regard to the competent court (CoA), the legal standing (parties to the arbitration proceedings and third parties bound by the res judicata effect of the award), the procedure (special property disputes), the available legal remedies against the decision (petition for cassation before the Supreme Court), the time limitation for filing the request (three months) and the fact that the enforcement of the challenged award is not ipso jure stayed.

It is disputed whether third parties which are not bound by the res judicata effect of the Award (see Answer to Question 23 above) but are nevertheless adversely affected by it may bring a third-party-challenge against parallel to their right to challenge the award on said specific grounds. The question is posed both in domestic as well as in international commercial arbitral proceedings. A third-party-challenge is a specific remedy provided for under article 583 GrCCP against judicial decisions or extrajudicial acts which adversely affect the interest of third parties which were not heard in the process. Many commentators answer this question in the affirmative.

See also Answer to Question 36 below.

Turkey Small Flag Turkey

There is no appeal procedure for foreign or domestic arbitral awards, the only recourse after having a an arbitral award is to commence a setting-aside proceeding. The grounds and procedure for setting aside proceedings are stated under the relevant sections outlined in the IAL and the CCP.

Updated: November 8, 2019