Court of Appeal upholds pro-arbitration decision in West Tankers

In an eagerly awaited judgment, the Court of Appeal has upheld the High Court’s decision to enforce a declaratory arbitral award under section 66 of the English Arbitration Act 1996: West Tankers Inc v Allianz SPA & Generali Assicurazione Generali SPA [2012] EWCA Civ 27. Enforcement under section 66 allows a judgment to be entered in the terms of the award – in this case, a declaration of non-liability. It remains unclear, however, whether the resulting judgment could be used to prevent the recognition of any inconsistent foreign judgment in England (under article 34 of the Brussels Regulation, EC Regulation 44/2001). 

In its 2008 ruling in this case, the European Court of Justice ruled that it was inconsistent with the Brussels Regulation for a court of a Member State to issue an anti-suit injunction to prevent proceedings being brought in another Member State in breach of an arbitration agreement. The recent Court of Appeal decision provides a possible alternative to an anti-suit injunction, and goes some way to ensuring that arbitration agreements will be upheld.

Click here to read about the decision on our arbitration news blog.

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