International arbitration is one of the primary resolution methods of international business disputes. The reason for this is simple: given no external pressure, a foreign company is under no obligation to perform contracts fairly with companies in other countries. When companies agree to arbitration under an international agreement, all parties feel more secure.
A quick review of arbitration
Recently, we talked about enforcing international judgments, but arbitration is somewhat different. Arbitration is a resolution dispute method that allows for a private hearing held by a neutral, private arbiter. They review the evidence and, per the contract signed by all parties, issue a binding ruling.
However, before the creation of international arbitration, business disputes like non-performance or even outright theft of intellectual property were haphazardly resolved. So let’s take a quick look at the first international accord on arbitration, the New York Convention.
What is the New York Convention?
The New York Convention is The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. Since it took place in New York in 1958, the name stuck. Today, 170 countries, from Albania to Zimbabwe, have signed the convention.
The effects of the convention are to set basic reciprocity between countries on arbitration matters. While there is no natural way to resolve a judgment between countries, in many cases in US courts, inclusion in the New York Convention can make an impact.
How did the New York Convention come together?
According to the New York Convention’s website, the basic framework for the convention began with the Geneva Convention in 1923. The international law governing warfare and the treatment of citizens offered a form of order to international relations. However, businesses found their needs were not met this way, and countries came together to build a new set of rules to govern differences between entities.
Just because there’s a plan in place doesn’t make it simple
However, if you have an arbitration agreement and a finding in your favor, you may still need assistance in pursuing the outcome you need. Skilled attorneys who understand the technical difficulties of such things can make a huge impact.