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Enforcement of Arbitration .pdf


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A local perspective

Enforcement of Arbitration
Awards in the UAE
The region has witnessed a growing preference for arbitration as the means to
settle disputes. In the light of this development, Hassan Mohsen Elhais explains
how arbitral awards are implemented in this jurisdiction.

T

he implementation of the New York
Convention in the UAE did not expressly
displace the enforcement provisions in the
Civil Procedure Code. Therefore, parties
wanting to enforce an award under the New York
Convention must satisfy the requirements of the UAE
Civil Code. In practice, enforcing arbitration awards
can be a lengthy and unpredictable process. It is
common for the UAE courts to require that the foreign
award satisfies the rules and procedures of the UAE,
and may refuse to enforce it if there is a violation of
local laws. One potential difficulty arises in convincing
the UAE Court that it did not have jurisdiction to
hear the dispute in the first place (irrespective of the
arbitration agreement between the parties). The UAE
Court normally has a fairly broad jurisdiction over
disputes including, for example, claims connected to
monies or assets within the country and claims arising
out of contracts executed or to be performed in the
UAE, as well as claims over foreigners’ resident in the
UAE. Therefore, it is difficult to prove that the UAE
Court did not have jurisdiction over the order.
The DIFC is a financial free zone which is exempt
from UAE federal commercial and civil laws, and
provides Dubai with a recognised arbitration
institution. Any award issued by the DIFC is a
New York Convention Award. Article 42 of the
DIFC Arbitration Law provides for recognition and
enforcement of arbitration awards, and Article 44
sets out limited grounds on which recognition or
enforcement of an award can be refused by the DIFC
Court for example where:
» Either party was under some incapacity or that the
arbitration agreement was invalid
» The party against whom the award is being invoked
was unable to present its case
» The arbitrator exceeded its jurisdiction
» The composition of the tribunal or the arbitral
proceedings was not in accordance with the
agreement of the parties
» Composition of the tribunal or the arbitral procedure
was not in accordance with the agreement of the
parties or the law of the State or jurisdiction where
the arbitration took place
» The award has not yet become binding on the parties
or has been set aside or suspended by a Court of the
State or jurisdiction in which the award was made.
38

the Oath • OCTOBER 2013

Administration process after the Award
is issued
Under Article 213 when arbitration is conducted
through the court, the arbitrators shall, within fifteen
days after the issue of their award, file in the court; the
award with the original Terms of Reference, minutes
of sessions and documents. They will also file with the
court a copy of the award to be delivered to each of the
parties, so a hearing may be arranged within fifteen
days for the purpose of approving the award. The
parties of the dispute shall be notified of the date
fixed for the hearing.
Where the arbitration is conducted in connection
with an appeal case, the filing shall be made with
the court, which has jurisdiction to consider the
appeal. In addition, where arbitration is conducted
between the parties to a dispute outside the court,
the arbitrators must provide each party with a copy
of their award within fifteen days from the date of the
issue of the arbitration award. The court shall, at the
request of one of the parties filed within the normal
course of filing the case, consider whether the award
shall be approved or nullified.
Text by: Hassan Mohsen Elhais, senior partner & solicitor
Sponsored by:

tel: +971 4 325 4000, email: awf@awfuae.com


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