top of page

Definition of arbitral Awards

Scholars agree that there is a lack of clear definition as to what may constitute an award.  It has been reported that during its deliberation on the Model Law, the Working Group repeatedly emphasised the great significance of defining the term arbitral award, as this was intended to determine which kinds of decisions would be subject to recourse under Article 34 of the Model Law. However, several proposals were rejected, as it was not clear whether the questions of procedure should be treated as arbitral awards, and the Working Group decided not to include a definition in the Model Law.

Nevertheless, there are general features that may constitute what could be considered as an arbitral award.  An arbitral award is the final procedure in the arbitration process, by which the arbitral tribunal determines all of the issues that have been submitted by the parties to arbitration  in a certain and final order. The arbitral tribunal’s decision then terminates the arbitral proceedings and shall be binding on the parties.

One should take into consideration here that the arbitral tribunal may render orders or awards during the arbitration proceedings, such as interim or partial awards.  However, examining such awards is outside the scope of this research, since they do not meet with the requirements of a final and binding arbitral award that could be enforced in foreign countries. There have been doubts about the enforceability of such pre-award orders under the New York Convention. Many writers consider such orders or awards to be non-enforceable under the New York Convention, due to the lack of finality of the award and the possibility that a reverse decision could still be taken by the arbitrators on the same issue.

This does not meet the requirement of Article V (1)(e) of the New York Convention that the award contain a conclusive decision which is not subject to further revisal by the tribunal within the arbitral proceedings.  The focus of this study concerns only the final award which puts an end to all of the issues that have been submitted to arbitration, and which is ready to be enforced as a foreign arbitral award, rather than examining such other orders or awards as may be made by the tribunal during the arbitration process.

bottom of page