On 17 January 2023, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (Timor-Leste) became the 172nd state to accede the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958 (the New York Convention). This accession follows Timor-Leste’s approval of a new legal regime of Voluntary Arbitration, as approved by its National Parliament on 31 March 2021.

The New York Convention will enter into force for Timor-Leste on 17 April 2023, as per Article XII (2).

This will be a welcome development for Timor-Leste as foreign investors previously had to rely on Timorese procedural law for the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards. As a result of its accession, Timor-Leste’s courts will be required to recognise and enforce awards made by other states and give effect to arbitration agreements. This is particularly noteworthy given Timor-Leste’s relations with significant trading states such as Australia, Singapore, US, Japan and Canada, which are also party to the Convention.

For more information, please contact Chad Catterwell, Partner, or your usual Herbert Smith Freehills contact.

Chad Catterwell
Chad Catterwell
+61 411 456 906


Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is licensed to operate as a foreign law practice in Singapore. Where advice on Singapore law is required, we will refer the matter to and work with licensed Singapore law practices where necessary.