Challenges to the tribunal’s jurisdiction at the award enforcement stage

international arbitration tribunals jurisdiction enforcement stage WEB

This article was originally published in the July 2018 edition of The Arbitrator & Mediator by the Resolution Institute.

The question of the jurisdiction of an arbitral tribunal in international commercial arbitration is a question of some complexity. It can arise at all stages of the arbitration proceeding. Challenges based on the scope of the arbitration agreement or the existence of an arbitration agreement generally arise shortly after the commencement of the arbitration proceedings. The rules of most of the well-recognised arbitral institutions require challenges to jurisdiction to be raised before the filing of the statement of defence.

There are, however, also opportunities for a party to challenge the jurisdiction of an arbitral tribunal as a consequence of a procedural order (where the party contends, for example, that the order goes beyond the scope of the tribunal’s authority). Questions of jurisdiction also arise at the enforcement stage; Article V of the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York Convention) provides that recognition and enforcement of the award may be refused, relevantly and amongst other things, where there was no valid arbitration agreement or where the award deals with a difference which is outside of the scope of the arbitration agreement. This paper considers challenges to jurisdiction arising from a claim that there is no valid arbitration agreement in light of recent Australian authorities.

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This paper was presented in the Federal Court of Australia in Melbourne (and via video to other Australian States and Territories) on 27 Feb 2018 at the first in the 2018 series of seminars co-presented by the Federal Court of Australia and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Australia.

It was originally published in the July 2018 edition of The Arbitrator & Mediator. For further information, please visit the Resolution Institute website:

The content of this publication is for reference purposes only. It is current at the date of publication. This content does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be obtained before taking any action based on this publication.

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