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Unpublished Paper
Setting Aside An Arbitration Award
  • Fernando Leila, Fordham University

I - Facts Most arbitration rules stipulate that the arbitral awards that result from arbitration under those agreements or rules are ‘final.’ Yet there is almost always the possibility for a party to challenge the award, whether or not the parties have agreed. According to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (“UNCITRAL”), a successful challenge will usually result in the award being ‘set aside,’ ‘vacated,’ or’ annulled,’ and therefore ceasing to exist, at least within the jurisdiction of the court setting it aside. To set aside an award means to 'declare the award to be disregarded in whole or in part. An arbitration award set aside usually is not enforceable and is considered invalid. Under Article 34 of the Model Law, the losing party is entitled to act, and the action must be brought before a designated court in the forum state. The Model Law does not provide an appeal or judicial review of the merits. However, some countries that have adopted the UNCITRAL Model Law allow an appeal on the law or on the facts. There are different kinds of challenges of international arbitration awards. Among them are appeals, special review procedures, and review permitted by arbitration rules or by party agreements. But the most important type of challenge of an arbitral award by far is an action to set aside conducted before a court in the place of arbitration. The local arbitration law will invariably allow an action to set aside (also referred to as ‘recourse against’ or ‘review’ of the award, or as an action to ‘vacate’ or ‘annul’ the award). II – Question Presented Under what circumstances can a court in the forum state set aside an arbitration award assuming the UNCITRAL Model Law applies? III – Conclusion Under the UNCITRAL Model Law (and most modern arbitration laws), a dissatisfied party may challenge the arbitration award, but only in an action to set aside in limited grounds that preclude a review of the merits, and only in the court of the place of arbitration; therefore, only the court in the forum state can set aside the arbitration award.

  • Arbitration setting aside Arbitration Award
Publication Date
Citation Information
Fernando Leila. "Setting Aside An Arbitration Award" (2010)
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