Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement
of Foreign Arbitral Awards.
Done at New York on 10 June 1958.
The Convention, in principle, applies to all arbitral
awards (Article I, paragraphs (1) and (2)).
However, Article I paragraph (3) allows states to make reservations:
When ... acceding to this Convention ... any State may on the basis
of reciprocity declare that it will apply the Convention to the
recognition and enforcement of awards made only in the territory of
another Contracting State. It may also declare that it will apply the
Convention only to differences arising out of legal relationships,
whether contractual or not, which are considered as commercial under
the national law of the State making such declaration.
This has led to the two reservations commonly referred to as the
reciprocity reservation and the commercial reservation.
The term reciprocity can though be confusing, as it is also applied in another
context (see (3) below).
- States may limit the Convention to awards from other
contracting states. Thus it is necessary to check whether both the state
where enforcement is desired and the state where the award was "made" are both
Interestingly, the Convention also applies to the recognition of arbitration
agreements (Article II) (requiring national courts to "refer the parties to
arbitration"). The reservations of Article I though only apply to "recognition
and enforcement of awards" [emphasis added].
- States may limit the Convention to awards relating to
commercial matters (see the exact wording above and/or in specific reservations
made by states, e.g. "economic").
- States may choose not to limit the Convention to only
awards from other contracting states, but may however limit application to
awards from non-contracting states such that they will only apply it to the
extent to which such a non-contracting state grants reciprocal treatment.
(See Article XIV.)
(Whilst this in not the reciprocity reservation it is a reservation that
is about reciprocal treatment. And, thus why "reciprocity" is not used as a
description of either reservation on individual country pages.)
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