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In a significant development for international litigants and practitioners, a New York court recently enforced as a court judgment a $25 million award that had been issued by a tribunal from the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution. The decision provides a preview of issues that are likely to confront a growing number of courts around the world, as an increasing number of disputes are adjudicated by quasi-judicial bodies.
A US court recently refused to recognise and enforce an arbitral award issued against two entities from the People's Republic of China on the basis that the court lacked personal jurisdiction over those entities. The ruling is significant because it confirms that most US jurisdictions will allow personal jurisdiction defences in actions to enforce foreign arbitral awards under the New York Convention.
In a recent decision the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit compelled arbitration and upheld a class arbitration waiver in the face of arguments that a federal labour statute rendered that waiver unenforceable. The decision is significant for international arbitration practitioners because it reaffirms US federal courts' trend of favouring the enforceability of arbitration agreements and class arbitration waivers.
A US district court has permitted an applicant to obtain evidence from a third party under Title 28, Section 1782 of the US Code to support claims that the applicant had brought in a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) arbitration. The ruling represents a developing area of NAFTA practice and demonstrates the increasing importance of 1782 applications in international arbitration.
A federal district court in New York recently sanctioned the losing party's counsel for filing what the court deemed to be a frivolous application to set aside an international arbitral award. The ruling represents another decision in the emerging trend of US federal courts to sanction parties and/or their counsel for asserting improper challenges to arbitral awards.
Recent Supreme Court decisions indicate that unless parties to an arbitration agreement agreed to allow a class arbitration, the parties cannot be required to participate in a class arbitration. However, franchisors have wondered whether they should include a 'no class action' clause in their agreements. A recent decision underscores the continuing importance of including carefully drafted clauses in franchise agreements.