“L’exécution des sentences annulées dans leur pays d’origine”, J.D.I., 1998.645.
The clear line of French case-law permitting courts to recognize and enforce awards which have been set aside in the country of origin—illustrated by the Norsolor, Hilmarton and Chromolloy cases—rests on the premise that the law of the seat of the arbitration is not the sole source of validity of an arbitral award, the law of the place of enforcement being equally well positioned to assess whether an award should be recognized and enforced. French law will thus determine the conditions for the recognition of the arbitral award as part of the French legal order, regardless of the grounds for which the award was set aside by the courts of the State of origin.
While the French law approach has given rise to an international controversy, the arguments levelled against it are unconvincing. In fact, the principal international arbitration conventions, policy considerations and arguments based on the legitimacy of the review conducted at the place of enforcement tend ultimately to favor the French law approach. It is, in particular, erroneous to assimilate the French law approach to a delocalization of arbitral awards. While the approach does reject that the law of the seat of the arbitration constitutes the exclusive source of validity of the arbitral award, the rejection is in favor of the recognition that the binding nature of arbitral awards does come from the legal orders of states, the community of states willing to recognize the fundamentally private act that is an arbitral award.