Search terms: Arbitration, Greece
In a recent decision the Supreme Court confirmed that an arbitral award acts as executory title for interest only if the award explicitly provides for interest. An arbitral tribunal cannot go beyond the parties' requests and order something that they have not demanded. In the case at hand, the claimant did not request interest in its first claim and the tribunal was correct not to address this issue.
In 2005 a ship was stranded in open water off the Greek island of Chios in the Aegean Sea. Following salvage, the salvor initiated arbitration proceedings in London against the shipowner and the cargo owners in order to determine its reward. The cargo owners refused to abide by the rulings of the award and the salvor sought to enforce it in Greece under the provisions of the New York Convention (1958).
In a recent case the courts considered three distinct issues: the valid waiver of the right to set aside an arbitral award; the scope of an arbitration agreement regarding the parties bound by it; and the specific requirements under Article 901 of the Code of Civil Procedure for the grounds of lack of an arbitration agreement.
A claim in tort can fall within the scope of an arbitration clause if it can be shown to be based on contract. The Supreme Court recently held that although a claim was presented as founded in tort, this did not prevent the court from ascribing a different characterisation to the same factual circumstances. It held that the same facts were simultaneously a breach of contract and a tort, and thus the two legal bases were inextricably intertwined.
In a recent decision the Supreme Court confirmed that Greek public policy regarding the grounds for refusing to enforce a foreign arbitral award under the New York Convention stems from the EU Treaty and the European Convention on Human Rights. The lack of reasons for the counterclaim, which could reveal a violation of public policy, cannot affect the enforcement of the award which upheld the claim.
A clause providing that an arbitral award will not have binding force, but will serve as a starting point for an amicable settlement and will allow for recourse to the state courts, is a valid contractual provision. However, it is not an arbitration agreement and the award cannot be enforced.