Foreign Arbitration Awards – The Problem with the Mechanistic Approach to Enforcement


Arbitration is a dispute resolution mechanism that is prevalent throughout the international shipping community. At any given time various foreign arbitration tribunals routinely hear evidence and make orders regarding claims between disputing parties. These bodies also grant monetary awards which a successful claimant may ultimately, although in some cases not 100% successfully, enforce against the assets of the unsuccessful party.

Enforcement of an arbitration award granted within one’s own jurisdiction is usually not a complicated matter. However, when the award has been made by a foreign arbitration tribunal then a number of enforcement issues come in to play. By way of background, “foreign” in the international sense means any jurisdiction outside the one in which you reside. Additionally jurisdiction is not just limited to nations or countries. For example, within Canada itself, each province is a separate jurisdiction.

About Thomas S. Hawkins

Tom is a founding partner of the firm and practices in the areas of maritime law, insurance defence and commercial litigation advising clients on matters relating to marine insurance, arrest of vessels, towage, pollution, collision, terminals, cargo, employment, bodily injury and maritime commercial matters. Tom has conducted cases in the trial and appellate courts of the Federal Court, the British… view full profile »