Recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitration agreements under the New York Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 1958
Article II of the New York Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of the Foreign Arbitral Awards is a central provision concerning recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitration agreements. It is deemed, however, to be one of the most controversial provisions of the Convention. The main cause of the complexity of this article is that Article II was thought about and added to the body of the Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards at the last stages of the New York Conference. The hasty insertion of Article II has left unsettled many legal questions concerning arbitration agreements. In the application of the New York Convention, Article II has given rise to many questions. In fact, a substantial number of all national courts decisions so far reported deals, either completely or in part, with questions concerning arbitration agreements under Article II. This thesis is an attempt to trace most legal implications concerning the application and interpretation of Article II of the New York Convention. Many problems are observed. Those problems include the failure of this Article to identify the arbitration agreements to which the Convention applies, the failure to determine the law applicable to arbitration agreements, and the broad ambiguous sweep of the language used in Article II in many occasions. This study is, therefore, devoted to identifying these problems, establishing their nature and extent and finding a satisfactory solution to them with relevant suggestions and proposals. In dealing with these problems a description and analysis of legislative and judicial practice on the subject in various countries which are parties to the Convention have been made. It is noted in many places of this thesis that Article II of the New York Convention like many provisions of most international conventions may represent a compromise and thus it may not be entirely satisfactory in every aspect it deals with. Article II's shortcomings could be, however, cured by the courts. Establishing a new convention on the subject could be a very difficult if not impossible task. In this regard, an observation has been made on the question of the extent to which national courts, by the so-called "interpretation", have been willing to promote harmonious rules in the field of international commercial arbitration, despite the shortcomings of Article II.