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Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards

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Title: Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards  
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Subject: Awards in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, Title 9 of the United States Code, New York Convention, Arbitration in the British Virgin Islands, EQuibbly
Collection: 1958 in New York, Arbitration Law, Treaties Concluded in 1958, Treaties Entered Into Force in 1959, Treaties Extended to American Samoa, Treaties Extended to Aruba, Treaties Extended to Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Treaties Extended to Baker Island, Treaties Extended to Bermuda, Treaties Extended to British Honduras, Treaties Extended to British Hong Kong, Treaties Extended to Christmas Island, Treaties Extended to Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Treaties Extended to French Algeria, Treaties Extended to French Comoros, Treaties Extended to French Guiana, Treaties Extended to French Polynesia, Treaties Extended to French Somaliland, Treaties Extended to Gibraltar, Treaties Extended to Greenland, Treaties Extended to Guadeloupe, Treaties Extended to Guam, Treaties Extended to Guernsey, Treaties Extended to Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Treaties Extended to Howland Island, Treaties Extended to Jarvis Island, Treaties Extended to Jersey, Treaties Extended to Johnston Atoll, 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Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards

New York Convention
Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards
Parties to the convention include almost the full Americas, Europe, large parts of Asia, Oceania, and about 50% of Africa
Parties to the convention
Signed 10 June 1958 (1958-06-10)
Location New York, US
Effective 7 June 1959
Condition 3 ratifications
Signatories 24
Parties 156
Depositaries Secretary-General of the United Nations
Languages Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish
Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards at Wikisource

The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, also known as the New York Convention, was adopted by a United Nations diplomatic conference on 10 June 1958 and entered into force on 7 June 1959. The Convention requires courts of contracting states to give effect to private agreements to arbitrate and to recognize and enforce arbitration awards made in other contracting states. Widely considered the foundational instrument for international arbitration, it applies to arbitrations which are not considered as domestic awards in the state where recognition and enforcement is sought. Though other international conventions apply to the cross-border enforcement of arbitration awards, the New York Convention is by far the most important.


  • Background 1
  • Summary of provisions 2
  • Parties to the Convention 3
  • States which are not party to the Convention 4
  • United States issues 5
  • External links 6
  • References 7


In 1953, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) produced the first draft Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of International Arbitral Awards to the United Nations Economic and Social Council. With slight modifications, the Council submitted the convention to the International Conference in the Spring of 1958. The Conference was chaired by Willem Schurmann, the Dutch Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Oscar Schachter, a leading figure in international law who later taught at Columbia Law School and the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs, and served as the President of the American Society of International Law.

International arbitration is an increasingly popular means of alternative dispute resolution for cross-border commercial transactions. The primary advantage of international arbitration over court litigation is enforceability: an international arbitration award is enforceable in most countries in the world. Other advantages of international arbitration include the ability to select a neutral forum to resolve disputes, that arbitration awards are final and not ordinarily subject to appeal, the ability to choose flexible procedures for the arbitration, and confidentiality.

Once a dispute between parties is settled, the winning party needs to collect the award or judgment. Unless the assets of the losing party are located in the country where the court judgment was rendered, the winning party needs to obtain a court judgment in the jurisdiction where the other party resides or where its assets are located. Unless there is a treaty on recognition of court judgments between the country where the judgment is rendered and the country where the winning party seeks to collect, the winning party will be unable to use the court judgment to collect.

Countries which have adopted the New York Convention have agreed to recognize and enforce international arbitration awards. As of June 2015, there are 156 State parties which have adopted the New York Convention: 153 of the 193 United Nations Member States, the Cook Islands, the Holy See, and the State of Palestine.[1] Forty-five UN Member States have not adopted the New York Convention and a number of British dependent territories have not had the Convention extended to them by Order in Council.

Summary of provisions

Under the Convention, an arbitration award issued in any other state can generally be freely enforced in any other contracting state, only subject to certain, limited defenses. These defenses are:

  1. a party to the arbitration agreement was, under the law applicable to him, under some incapacity;
  2. the arbitration agreement was not valid under its governing law;
  3. a party was not given proper notice of the appointment of the arbitrator or of the arbitration proceedings, or was otherwise unable to present its case;
  4. the award deals with an issue not contemplated by or not falling within the terms of the submission to arbitration, or contains matters beyond the scope of the arbitration (subject to the proviso that an award which contains decisions on such matters may be enforced to the extent that it contains decisions on matters submitted to arbitration which can be separated from those matters not so submitted);
  5. the composition of the arbitral tribunal was not in accordance with the agreement of the parties or, failing such agreement, with the law of the place where the hearing took place (the "lex loci arbitri");
  6. the award has not yet become binding upon the parties, or has been set aside or suspended by a competent authority, either in the country where the arbitration took place, or pursuant to the law of the arbitration agreement;
  7. the subject matter of the award was not capable of resolution by arbitration; or
  8. enforcement would be contrary to "public policy".

Additionally, there are three types of reservations that countries may apply:[2]

  1. Conventional Reservation - some countries only enforce arbitration awards issued in a Convention member state
  2. Commercial Reservation – some countries only enforce arbitration awards that are related to commercial transactions
  3. Reciprocity reservation – some countries may choose not to limit the Convention to only awards from other contracting states, but may however limit application to awards from non-contracting states such that they will only apply it to the extent to which such a non-contracting state grants reciprocal treatment.

States may make any or all of the above reservations. Because there are two similar issues conflated under the term "reciprocity", it is important to determine which such reservation (or both) an enforcing state has made.

Parties to the Convention

As of May 2015, the Convention has 156 state parties, which includes 153 of the 193 United Nations member states plus the Cook Islands, the Holy See, and the State of Palestine. Forty UN member states have not adopted the Convention. In addition, Taiwan has not been permitted to adopt the Convention (but generally enforces foreign arbitration judgments) and a number of British Overseas Territories have not had the Convention extended to them by Order in Council. British Overseas Territories to which the New York Convention has not yet been extended by Order in Council are: Anguilla, Falkland Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Montserrat, Saint Helena (including Ascension and Tristan da Cunha).

State Date of Ratification State Date of Ratification
 Afghanistan 30 November 2005  Albania 27 June 2001
 Algeria 7 February 1989  Andorra 19 June 2015
 Antigua and Barbuda 2 February 1989  Argentina 14 March 1989
 Armenia 29 December 1997  Australia 26 March 1975
 Austria 2 May 1961  Azerbaijan 29 February 2000
 Bahamas 20 December 2006  Bahrain 6 April 1988
 Bangladesh 6 May 1992  Barbados 16 March 1993
 Belarus 15 November 1960  Belgium 18 August 1975
 Benin 16 May 1974  Bhutan 25 September 2014
 Bolivia 28 April 1995  Bosnia and Herzegovina 1 September 1993
 Botswana 20 December 1971  Brazil 7 June 2002
 Brunei 25 July 1996  Bulgaria 10 October 1961
 Burkina Faso 23 March 1987  Burundi 23 June 2014
 Cambodia 5 January 1960  Cameroon 19 February 1988
 Canada 12 May 1986  Central African Republic 15 October 1962
 Chile 4 September 1975  People's Republic of China 22 January 1987
 Colombia 25 September 1979  Democratic Republic of the Congo 5 November 2014
 Comoros 28 April 2015
 Costa Rica 26 October 1987  Côte d'Ivoire 1 February 1991
 Cook Islands 12 January 2009  Croatia 26 July 1993
 Cuba 30 December 1974  Cyprus 29 December 1980
 Czech Republic 30 September 1993  Denmark 22 December 1972
 Djibouti 14 June 1983  Dominica 28 October 1988
 Dominican Republic 11 April 2002  Ecuador 3 January 1962
 Estonia 30 August 1993  Fiji 26 December 2010
 Finland 19 January 1962  France 26 June 1959
 Gabon 15 December 2006  Georgia 2 June 1994
 Germany 30 June 1961  Ghana 9 April 1968
 Greece 16 July 1962  Guatemala 21 March 1984
 Guinea 23 January 1991  Guyana 25 September 2014
 Haiti 5 December 1983  Holy See 14 May 1975
 Honduras 3 October 2000  Hungary 5 March 1962
 Iceland 24 January 2002  India 13 July 1960
 Indonesia 7 October 1981  Iran, Islamic Republic of 15 October 2001
 Ireland 12 May 1981  Israel 5 January 1959
 Italy 31 January 1969  Jamaica 10 July 2002
 Japan 20 June 1961  Jordan 15 November 1979
 Kazakhstan 20 November 1995  Kenya 10 February 1989
 South Korea 8 February 1973  Kuwait 28 April 1978
 Kyrgyzstan 18 December 1996  Laos 17 June 1998
 Latvia 14 April 1992  Lebanon 11 August 1998
 Lesotho 13 June 1989  Liberia 16 September 2005
 Lithuania 14 March 1995  Liechtenstein 5 October 2011
 Luxembourg 9 September 1983  Republic of Macedonia 10 March 1994
 Madagascar 16 July 1962  Malaysia 5 November 1985
 Mali 8 September 1994  Malta 22 June 2000
 Marshall Islands 21 December 2006  Mauritania 30 January 1997
 Mauritius 19 June 1996  Mexico 14 April 1971
 Moldova 18 September 1998  Monaco 2 June 1982
 Mongolia 24 October 1994  Montenegro 23 October 2006
 Morocco 12 February 1959  Mozambique 11 June 1998
 Myanmar 16 April 2013    Nepal 4 March 1998
 Netherlands 24 April 1964  New Zealand 6 January 1983
 Nicaragua 24 September 2003  Niger 14 October 1964
 Nigeria 17 March 1970  Norway 14 March 1961
 Oman 25 February 1999  Palestine 2 January 2015
 Pakistan 14 July 2005
 Panama 10 October 1984  Paraguay 8 October 1997
 Peru 7 July 1988  Philippines 6 July 1967
 Poland 3 October 1961  Portugal 18 October 1994
 Qatar 30 December 2002  Romania 13 September 1961
 Russia 24 August 1960  Rwanda 31 October 2008
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 12 September 2000  San Marino 17 May 1979
 Sao Tome and Principe 20 November 2012  Saudi Arabia 19 April 1994
 Senegal 17 October 1994  Serbia 12 March 2001
 Singapore 21 August 1986  Slovakia 28 May 1993
 Slovenia 6 July 1992  South Africa 3 May 1976
 Spain 12 May 1977  Sri Lanka 9 April 1962
 Sweden 28 January 1972   Switzerland 1 June 1965
 Syria 9 March 1959  Tanzania 13 October 1964
 Tajikistan 14 August 2012  Thailand 21 December 1959
 Trinidad and Tobago 14 February 1966  Tunisia 17 July 1967
 Turkey 2 July 1992  Uganda 12 February 1992
 Ukraine 10 October 1960  United Arab Emirates 21 August 2006
 United Kingdom 24 September 1975  United States 30 September 1970
 Uruguay 30 March 1983  Uzbekistan 7 February 1996
 Venezuela 8 February 1995  Vietnam 12 September 1995
 Zambia 14 March 2002  Zimbabwe 26 September 1994

The Convention has also been extended to a number of British Crown Dependencies, Overseas Territories, Overseas departments, Unincorporated Territories and other subsidiary territories of sovereign states.

Territory Date of Ratification Territory Date of Ratification
 American Samoa  Aruba
 Ashmore and Cartier Islands  Australian Antarctic Territory
 Baker Island  Bermuda 14 November 1979
 British Virgin Islands 25 May 2014  Christmas Island 26 March 1975
 Cayman Islands 26 November 1980  Cocos (Keeling) Islands 26 March 1975
 Coral Sea Islands  Faroe Islands 10 February 1976
 French Guiana  French Polynesia 26 June 1959
 French Southern and Antarctic Lands  Gibraltar 24 September 1975
 Greenland 10 February 1976  Guadeloupe
 Guam 30 September 1970  Guernsey 19 April 1985
 Heard Island and McDonald Islands  Howland Island
 Isle of Man 22 February 1979  Jarvis Island
 Jersey 19 April 1985  Johnston Atoll
 Kingman Reef  Martinique
 Mayotte  Midway Atoll
 Navassa Island  New Caledonia 26 June 1959
 Norfolk Island  Palmyra Atoll
 Puerto Rico  Réunion
 Saint Pierre and Miquelon  United States Virgin Islands
 Wake Island  Wallis and Futuna

States which are not party to the Convention

 Angola  Belize  Cape Verde
 Chad  Republic of the Congo
 Equatorial Guinea  Eritrea  Ethiopia
 Gambia  Grenada  Guinea-Bissau
 Iraq  Kiribati  North Korea
 Libya  Malawi  Maldives
 Federated States of Micronesia  Namibia  Nauru
 Niue  Palau  Papua New Guinea
 Saint Kitts and Nevis  Saint Lucia  Samoa
 Seychelles  Sierra Leone  Solomon Islands
 Somalia  South Sudan  Sudan
 Suriname  Swaziland  Taiwan
 Timor-Leste  Togo  Tonga
 Turkmenistan  Tuvalu  Vanuatu

United States issues

Under American law, the recognition of foreign arbitral awards is governed by chapter 2 of the Federal Arbitration Act, which incorporates the New York Convention.[3]

Therefore, the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the "Convention") preempts state law. In Foster v. Neilson, the Supreme Court held “Our constitution declares a treaty to be the law of the land. It is, consequently, to be regarded in courts of justice as equivalent to an act of the Legislature, whenever it operates of itself without the aid of any legislative provision.” Foster v. Neilson, 27 U.S. 253, 314 (1829). See also Valentine v. U.S. ex rel. Neidecker, 57 S.Ct. 100, 103 (1936); Medellin v. Dretke, 125 S.Ct. 2088, 2103 (2005); Sanchez-Llamas v. Oregon, 126 S.Ct. 2669, 2695 (2006). Thus, over a course of 181 years, the United States Supreme Court has repeatedly held that a self-executing treaty is an act of the Legislature (i.e., act of Congress).

External links

  • Uncitral
  • 1958 New York Convention Guide (This website was developed by Shearman & Sterling and Columbia Law School, in cooperation with UNCITRAL)
  • New York Convention, gives access to information regarding the New York Convention in general, its history, its interpretation and application by the courts
  • Status. Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York, 1958) (updated whenever the UNCITRAL Secretariat is informed of changes in status of the Convention.)
  • The New York Convention on the UN Audiovisual Library of International Law, with an introductory note by Albert Jan van den Berg, video footage and photos related to the negotiations and adoption of the Convention.
  • ICCA's Guide to the New York Convention (The International Council for Commercial Arbitration)


  1. ^ "Contracting States". Albert Jan van den Berg. 23 July 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2011. 
  2. ^ New York Convention, 1958 - Reservations
  3. ^ "New York Arbitration" (PDF). CMS Legal. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  • [2]
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