Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards

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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[needs update]
Signed10 June 1958 (1958-06-10)
LocationNew York City, United States
Effective7 June 1959
Condition3 ratifications
DepositariesSecretary-General of the United Nations
LanguagesArabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish
Full text
Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards at Wikisource

The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, commonly 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 that are not considered as domestic awards in the state where recognition and enforcement is sought.

The New York Convention is very successful. Nowadays many countries have adopted arbitration laws based on the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration. This works with the New York Convention so that the provisions on making an enforceable award, or asking a court to set it aside or not enforce it, are the same under the Model Law and the New York Convention. The Model Law does not replace the Convention; it works with it. An award made in a country which is not a signatory to the Convention cannot take advantage of the Convention to enforce that award in the 169 contracting states unless there is bilateral recognition, whether or not the arbitration was held under the provisions of the UNCITRAL Model Law.


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 arbitration over court litigation is enforceability: an arbitration award is enforceable in most countries in the world. Other advantages of 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. If the loser voluntarily pays, no court action is necessary.[1] Otherwise, 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.

Cases and statistics[edit]

Public information on overall and specific arbitration cases is quite limited as there is no need to involve the courts at all unless there is a dispute, and in most cases the loser pays voluntarily.[1] A review of disputed cases in China found that from 2000 to 2011, the Supreme People's Court upheld the refusal to enforce the arbitration agreement in 17 cases due to a provision in Article V (China has an automatic appeal system to the highest court, so this includes all such refusals).[2]

Summary of provisions[edit]

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:[3]

  1. a party to the arbitration agreement was, under the law applicable to him, under some incapacity, or the arbitration agreement was not valid under its governing law;
  2. 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;
  3. 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);
  4. 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");
  5. 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;
  6. the subject matter of the award was not capable of resolution by arbitration; or
  7. enforcement would be contrary to "public policy".

Additionally, there are three types of reservations that countries may apply:[4]

  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[edit]

As of December 2021, the convention has 169 state parties, which includes 166 of the 193 United Nations member states plus the Cook Islands, the Holy See, and the State of Palestine. Thirty UN member states have not yet 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 Adoption State Date of Adoption
 Afghanistan 30 November 2005  Albania 27 June 2001
 Algeria 7 February 1989  Andorra 19 June 2015
 Angola 6 March 2017
 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
 Belize 15 March 2021
 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  Cape Verde 22 March 2018
 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  Egypt 9 March 1959
 El Salvador 10 June 1958  Estonia 30 August 1993
 Ethiopia 24 August 2020  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
 Iraq 11 November 2021  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  Malawi 4 March 2021
 Maldives 17 September 2019  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
 Pakistan 14 July 2005  Palau 31 March 2020
 Palestine 2 January 2015  Panama 10 October 1984
 Papua New Guinea 17 July 2019  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
 Seychelles 3 February 2020  Sierra Leone 28 October 2020
 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
 Sudan 26 March 2018  Sweden 28 January 1972
 Suriname 10 November 2022
 Switzerland 1 June 1965  Syria 9 March 1959
 Tanzania 13 October 1964  Tajikistan 14 August 2012
 Thailand 21 December 1959  Tonga 12 June 2020
 Trinidad and Tobago 14 February 1966  Tunisia 17 July 1967
 Turkey 2 July 1992  Uganda 12 February 1992
 Turkmenistan 4 May 2022
 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 24 April 1964
 Ashmore and Cartier Islands  Australian Antarctic Territory
 Baker Island  Bermuda 14 November 1979
 Bonaire 24 April 1964
 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  Curaçao 24 April 1964
 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
 Saba 24 April 1964  Saint Pierre and Miquelon
 Sint Eustatius 24 April 1964  Sint Maarten 24 April 1964
 United States Virgin Islands  Wake Island
 Wallis and Futuna

States which are not party to the Convention[edit]

 Chad  Republic of the Congo
 Equatorial Guinea  Eritrea  Eswatini formerly Swaziland
 Gambia  Grenada  Guinea-Bissau
 Kiribati  Libya  Federated States of Micronesia
 Namibia  Nauru  Niue
 North Korea  Saint Kitts and Nevis  Saint Lucia
 Samoa  Solomon Islands  Somalia
 South Sudan  Timor-Leste
 Togo  Tuvalu
 Vanuatu  Yemen

United States issues[edit]

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.[5]

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."[6] 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).

With specific regard to the New York Convention, at least one court discussed, but ultimately avoided, the issue of whether the treaty is self-executing. The court nonetheless held that the convention was, at the least, an implemented non-self-executing treaty that still had legal force as a treaty (as distinguished from an Act of Congress).[7] Based on that determination, the court held that the Convention preempted state law that sought to void arbitration clauses in international reinsurance treaties.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Argen, Robert (1 January 2015). "Ending Blind Spot Justice: Broadening the Transparency Trend in International Arbitration". Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network. SSRN 2393188. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ Xia, Xiaohong (January 2011). ""Implementation of the New York Convention in China" by Xiaohong Xia". Arbitration Brief. 1 (1). Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  3. ^ ""Enforcement of Arbitral Awards under the New York Convention – Practic" by Joseph T. McLaughlin and Laurie Genevro". Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  4. ^ "New York Convention, 1958: Reservations". Archived from the original on 20 June 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2014. New York Convention, 1958 – Reservations
  5. ^ "New York Arbitration" (PDF). CMS Legal. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
  6. ^ 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).
  7. ^ Safety National Casualty Corp. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London, 587 F.3d 714 (5th Cir. 2009) (en banc), cert. den'd, 562 U.S. 827 (2010).

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