I. The General Rule: NO REVIEW OF ARBITRAL AWARDS ON THE LAW OR THE FACTS
One of the inestimable advantages of arbitration is that it provides for adjudication of disputes in a single instance. The flexible procedures available in arbitration afford the parties an opportunity to provide the tribunal in all appropriate detail with the information needed to make an informed determination. And the parties’ ability to choose, directly or indirectly, the arbitrators who are to adjudicate their dispute renders it entirely reasonable that they be required to stand by the judgment of the arbitrators they selected. Obtaining a resolution of a dispute under such circumstances in a speedy and efficient manner provides a compelling reason for limiting the scope of judicial review to the bare essentials needed to afford due process and to protect the state’s own interests. It explains why arbitration acts all around the world and all international conventions relating to the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards permit judicial review only to a very limited extent. Typically, statutory provisions permit only review in cases of misconduct of the parties or the arbitrators, when the award violates international public policy, or when the arbitrators lacked competence. In actual practice, in the large majority of cases, lack of competence is the only available basis for judicial review.