Nino Sievi holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Fribourg, where he is currently a graduate student. He is also a student at the Center for Transnational Legal Studies in London where he has already qualified for the Certificate in Transnational Legal Studies. Nino was a participant in the Willem C. Vis Moot Court for International Commercial Arbitration in 2010. This article was based on a paper prepared for a course at the Center for Transnational Legal Studies.
Clauses providing that any dispute shall be referred to an arbitral tribunal are nothing special in international commercial contracts. However, some parties decide to breach the arbitration clause, perhaps believing that it might stand a better chance before its home court, or that it might gain time by doing so.
An efficient remedy to prevent the continuation of such a breach in the European Community (EC) is an anti-foreign-suit injunction, which prevents a party from continuing a foreign court proceeding so that arbitration can take place. However, in Allianz SpA v. West Tankers,2 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that it is incompatible with Regula tion 44/2001 (known as Brussels Regulation I), and inconsistent with the arbitration agreement, for a court of an EC member state to make an order to restrain a person from commencing or continuing proceedings before the court of another member state. This means that once a party has started proceedings at a court of an EC member state—even if in breach of an arbitration agreement