Does the law impose limits on the available remedies? Are some remedies not enforceable by the local courts?

International Arbitration (3rd edition)

Egypt Small Flag Egypt

Arbitrators cannot award punitive or exemplary damages as these contradict mandatory public policy in Egypt.

France Small Flag France

There are no statutory provisions in the CCP regulating the remedies that a tribunal can award. However, it is established that arbitrators have wide discretion as to the type of final remedies they can order. Arbitrators can:

  • Order a party to pay damages.
  • Issue injunctions (ordering a party to do something or preventing a party from doing something).
  • Make a declaration as to whether a party is liable.

There are no rules limiting the type of interest that can be awarded by an arbitral tribunal. Arbitrators can award compound interest.

There are also no specific restrictions on the type of damages that can be awarded. French law allows for the full compensation of damages. Damages for emotional and psychological distress suffered and lost profits can be awarded.

It is unclear whether an award of punitive damages would be problematic. While such damages are never awarded in civil litigation, the French courts have held that punitive damages are not necessarily contrary to French international public policy. However, such damages must not be disproportionate to the harm suffered (see Court of Cassation, First Civil Chamber, 1 December 2010, No. 09-13.303).

Cyprus Small Flag Cyprus

There are no limits imposed by law on the available remedies, giving the tribunal freedom to act as it seems appropriate. However, the remedies should not clash with public policy or with remedies that only Courts can enforce.

Czech Republic Small Flag Czech Republic

The Arbitration Act does not provide any details regarding this topic. The standard limitation is considered to be ordre public; a contrario remedy must be requested by the other party and must be in accordance with the domestic law.

Romania Small Flag Romania

In general, Romanian legislation does not provide any limits on the available remedies.

The limits are fixed by the parties’ claims as the arbitral tribunal can grant only what has been requested, irrespective of the nature of the claim, provided that the relief sought by the parties is not incompatible with public policy, ethics and mandatory legal provisions.

Serbia Small Flag Serbia

There are no specific limitations of the remedies that the arbitral tribunal may award, other than the mandatory provisions of Serbian law (such as public policy limitations) and such remedies are enforceable by local courts.

China Small Flag China

The Arbitration Law and the Interpretation of the Supreme People’s Court Concerning Some Issues on Application of the Arbitration Law of China do not specify the types of remedies (including damages) that are available in arbitration (e.g. punitive damages). Under Chinese law, compensation for actual loss is the statutory principle governing contractual obligations for remedies (including damages). Punitive damages are not normally supported, unless product liability or consumer protection is involved.

Besides, the Contract Law imposes limits on the application of specific performance, in accordance with which specific performance cannot be granted if it is impossible in law or in fact, the subject matter of the obligation is unfit for specific performance or the cost of performance is unreasonably high, or the creditor fails to demand performance within a reasonable time limit.

Denmark Small Flag Denmark

a. The remedies available to the arbitral tribunal in general are those that falls within the scope of freedom of contract. In general, those remedies are also generally enforceable by the local courts.

Poland Small Flag Poland

The arbitral tribunal is free to grant any kind of remedy or relief available under applicable substantive law, provided it does not violate the Polish public policy. For example, it is generally believed that punitive damages are contrary to the Polish public policy.

Switzerland Small Flag Switzerland

In principle, Swiss procedural law does not impose any limits on the final remedies available to an arbitral tribunal with its seat in Switzerland. The available remedies are depending on the law applicable to the substance of the dispute. If the dispute is governed by Swiss law, the following main categories of final remedies exist:

  • Performance
  • -Specific performance;
    -damages, if specific performance is no longer possible (no punitive damages are available);
    -abstaining from or tolerating certain acts or a situation; and
    -issuing a declaration of will

  • Creation, modification, or termination of a legal relationship; and
  • Declaratory Relief

In accordance with art. V para 2(b) of the New York Convention, Swiss courts are not enforcing remedies that are considered to be contrary to Swiss public policy. In this regard, in particular treble and punitive damages are critical. According to the Swiss Federal Tribunal, such damages might infringe Swiss public policy, depending on the particular circumstances of the case.

UAE Small Flag UAE

UAE – Federal

There are no specific limits on the remedies that an Arbitral Tribunal in an On-Shore arbitration may award.

UAE - Free-zone Jurisdictions

Neither the DIFC Court nor the ADGM Court impose any specific limit, nor expressly classify any remedies as unenforceable.

However, an award may not be enforced upon public or private property owned by an Emirate or government body as set out in Article 247 of the UAE CPC

United Kingdom Small Flag United Kingdom

Subject to any rights of challenge, the parties are free to agree the remedies that can be granted by the tribunal (s.48).

Saudi Arabia Small Flag Saudi Arabia

There is no statutory cap on remedies. Any award, irrespective of how large it may be, is enforceable so long as the party has a legitimate case.

There are, however, some types of remedies that are contrary to Sharia and not enforceable. These include punitive damages, and any amount that includes interest charges.

In addition, damages awarded in Saudi courts are ordinary limited to actual, quantifiable, and direct damages. Indirect or consequential damages, such as loss of anticipated profits are not ordinarily recoverable.

United States Small Flag United States

The FAA does not put any limits on remedies. Certain states impose limits on arbitral remedies, but such rules do not apply to arbitrations governed by the FAA. For example, New York law prohibits arbitrators from awarding punitive damages, but this restriction does not apply to arbitrations seated in New York that are governed by the FAA because the FAA preempts state law. See Mastrobuono v. Shearson Lehman Hutton, Inc., 514 U.S. 52, 59 (1995).

Austria Small Flag Austria

Austrian arbitration law does not contain any explicit provisions on the types of remedies that an arbitral tribunal may award. Punitive damages are not foreseen under Austrian law and it is likely that the Austrian courts would consider the award of punitive damages contrary to public policy.

Nigeria Small Flag Nigeria

All of the remedies recognised under the relevant laws and made on arbitrable disputes are enforceable by the courts. Unless the parties agree otherwise, an arbitral tribunal may make an award on whichever types of remedies it sees fit, including declarations, injunctions, damages (including punitive and exemplary damages) and rectification.

Portugal Small Flag Portugal

LAV does not exclude any available remedies although the tribunal is of course limited by the request / claim presented by the parties in their claim and counter-claim.

It means that all remedies available in Portuguese Civil Procedural Code are also available to arbitrators as long as they do not violate the principles of public policy.

The same answer is applied regarding the remedies enforced by Portuguese Courts.

Russia Small Flag Russia

Available relief is determined in accordance with the applicable substantive law and the arbitration agreement. Under Russian law, there are no explicit limits as to the type of civil-law remedies that a tribunal may award. However, the courts generally will not enforce punitive damages if the amount awarded appears excessive and not corresponding to the actual consequences of a breach.

Ireland Small Flag Ireland

The only limits are those contained in the Model Law (see 29 above).

Norway Small Flag Norway

The law does not impose any limits on the available remedies. In principle, an arbitration tribunal has the same power as the ordinary courts. The most common remedy in commercial disputes is damages in the event of breach. However, the arbitration tribunal may also grant the remedy of specific performance, which will be enforced by the relevant authorities. The only limit to the power of the arbitration tribunal is interim measures, cf. question 23 above.

Germany Small Flag Germany

The types and range of remedies that can be awarded by the arbitral tribunal depend on the substantive law of the dispute. Arbitration law does not impose limitations on these available remedies per se.

In addition, the parties of the arbitration may afford further competence to arbitral tribunal and empower the arbitral tribunal to render a decision ex aequo et bono.

Limitations to the available remedies and also limitation to the arbitral tribunal's discretion where it has been afforded ex aequo et bono competence are based in the superseding German public policy. I.e. remedies that violate public policy may be awarded by the arbitral tribunals but are not enforceable. Most notably, the Federal High Court (Bundesgerichtshof) held that punitive damages are considered a violation of such public policy.

Croatia Small Flag Croatia

The Croatian Arbitration Act does not impose any limits as to available remedies which may be ordered by the arbitral tribunal. Thus, unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the arbitral tribunal may order any remedy that could be ordered by a national court. In any case, the local court will not enforce remedies ordered by the arbitral tribunal that are contrary to the Croatian public order.

Updated: November 14, 2018