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04 June 2020
In recent years there has been a substantial number of cases in which the Cypriot courts have had to determine whether applicants seeking the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award have complied with the requirements set out in Article IV of the New York Convention, which the Supreme Court has ruled must be strictly satisfied.(1)
Specifically, numerous respondents have challenged whether applicants have produced:
The Cypriot courts have mostly interpreted these provisions in a purposeful and liberal manner which does not hamper the operation of the New York Convention's underlying objectives. A holistic review of the relevant court judgments which have endorsed various legal extracts and English case law on the interpretation of Article IV(1)(a) reveals the following principles:
With respect to Article IV(2), some first-instance judgments have arguably created unnecessary uncertainty which has in turn indirectly enabled respondents to advance superfluous grounds of opposition.
Specifically, many respondents have argued that where an attached translation was prepared by a translator of the Press and Information Office (PIO), unless the translator swore an affidavit attesting to the translation, the translation was inconsistent with Article IV(2). Respondents predominantly relied on the reasoning of the first-instance judgment in UralMetprolm ν Besuno Ltd (Originating Application 134/2006), which held that "the fact that the PIO was designated as the competent authority to prepare certified translations was not tantamount to it being the official translator for the purposes of the New York Convention". This case, while not binding, has been followed in other first-instance judgments.
Contrary to the above, the majority of the Cypriot judiciary has adopted the following more liberal and pragmatic approach:
In addition, Law Ν 45(Ι)/19 has recently been enacted, establishing a register of official translators who are solely permitted to prepare translations of documents to be used in court proceedings. This legislation will likely resolve most, if not all, of the above ambiguities.
The principles highlighted in this article should help to shed light on the courts' interpretation and application of Article IV of the New York Convention and prevent similar grounds of opposition to those set out above from being raised in future.
For further information on this topic please contact Constantinos Pashiardis at George Z Georgiou & Associates LLC by telephone (+357 22 763 340) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The George Z Georgiou & Associates website can be accessed at www.gzg.com.cy.
(6) Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network ν Trevano Pictures Limited, Originating Application 2/19, 4 October 2019; Dreamhack AB v Solser Management Limited, Originating Application 110/19, 8 May 2020.
(8) Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network ν Trevano Pictures Limited, Originating Application 2/19, 4 October 2019; Dreamhack AB v Solser Management Limited, Originating Application 110/19, 8 May 2020.
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