Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards in Cyprus

An application to the competent Cypriot Court is required for the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award issued in a jurisdiction outside Cyprus.

This Application is based on the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (Ratification) Law 84/79, which incorporates the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards dated 10.6.58.

According to the case law of  Cyprus, the recognition and enforcement of a foreign commercial arbitral award is based on the provisions of the above New York Convention, which was ratified in Cyprus with the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (Ratification ) Law of 1979 (Law 84/79), whose provisions according to article 169 of the Constitution have increased force over any domestic law.

Article III of the Convention establishes the obligation for Member States to recognize the validity and to allow the recognition and enforcement of foreign commercial arbitral awards and to provide that this procedure be carried out in accordance with the procedural rules followed in the country of the Judge. Of course, if there is provision in the Convention for such an issue, then the provisions of the Convention are applicable. The Convention does not establish procedural regulations governing the procedure for the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards, nor has a binding procedure been established in Cyprus. Therefore, the Rules of Civil Procedure must be followed for such an application.

When the Court has before it a request for recognition and enforcement of such a judgment, the first issue to be determined is whether it is an arbitral award on a commercial or other related matter and whether it is foreign.

Article IV of the Convention provides for what must be done to achieve recognition and enforcement and Article V how such an application can be rejected. It is noted that between the two texts (translated into Greek and the original) the text of the English original prevails, as provided by Law 84/79.

The judicial review of the arbitral award made in accordance with Articles IV and V of the Convention, according to the prevailing opinion in the case law, has a procedural character and does not enter into the essence of the arbitrators’ judgment. A derogation may be made from the provisions of paragraph 2 (b) of Article V of the Convention, which refers to public order, made ex officio by the Court. However, the review of the content of the arbitrators’ decision is limited to the issue of determining whether the arbitral award is contrary to public order and does not enter into the diagnosis of the substance of the case.

The law applicable to the procedure of this supervisory review for the recognition and enforcement of the arbitral award is that of the presiding Judge, unless there is some special provision in the Convention. The burden of proof those referred to in Article IV is placed on the applicant, while those referred to in Article V relating to the reasons for the rejection of the application shall be borne by the person against whom the decision is invoked. Pursuant to Article IV, the applicant has only to provide the documents referred to in that Article in order to obtain recognition and enforcement of the judgment, in which case the burden of regarding the reasons for the rejection of the application shifts to the person against whom the arbitral award is invoked.

For more information and ad-hoc legal advice on the issue of recognition and enforcement of a foreign arbitral award in Cyprus, contact us at tel. +357 22272360 / email: info@dplawcyprus.com

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