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Jun 01, 2009

The Urgency of Not Revising the New York Convention


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"The Urgency of Not Revising the New York Convention" in Albert Jan van den Berg (ed), 50 Years of the New York Convention: ICCA International Arbitration Conference, ICCA Congress Series, 2009 Dublin Volume 14 (Kluwer Law International 2009), pp. 689-696

As with its fortieth anniversary, the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards has justifiably given rise to questions as to the necessity and/or feasibility of the Convention's revision. To date, the majority view has been in favor of not opening such an avenue. Today, however, important scholars have suggested that the Convention has aged in such a way and has given rise to a sufficiently large number of unsatisfactory decisions that the time has come to initiate a revision process. A preliminary draft has been put forward to stimulate reflection on the subject.

Although its language is at times dated and certain of its proVisIOns could be modernized, the New York Convention continues, on the whole, to fulfill its purpose in a satisfactory manner and there would be, in my opinion, more to lose than to gain in embarking upon a revision process. Should a revision nevertheless be considered by the States parties to the New York Convention, it could not simply embrace the suggestions found in the Hypothetical Draft prepared for the purposes of this Conference. [...]

The reason why I strongly believe that the New York Convention should be left alone is threefold. It can be summarized by what I call the "three NOs": there is no need, no hope and no danger. [...]

The Hypothetical Draft Convention proposed for the purposes of discussion in this Conference is clearly thoughtful and internally consistent. In my opinion, however, it does not achieve the desired balance.

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Authors and Contributors

Emmanuel Gaillard


International Arbitration

+33 1 53 89 70 00

+33 1 53 89 70 00