The pro-recognition principles and obligations established by the New York Convention play a central role in international commercial arbitration. Even though these principles are well known in theory, it is the decisions rendered by recognition courts that effectively bring them to life. Consistent judicial decisions within a single country are essential to fulfill the standardization goals of the Convention and provide the parties with the due certainty and foreseeability with respect to their enforcement expectations. While US court decisions demonstrate a clear pro-enforcement line, some inconsistent decisions show that there is still space for improvement, which is particularly true for some grounds to deny recognition, such as due process, enforcement of awards that have been set aside at the arbitral seat, public policy, and manifest disregard of law.
A. The Role of the New York Convention in the International Arbitration Setting
Undoubtedly, arbitration has established itself as the single most important mechanism of dispute resolution in the international commercial setting. The players in international commerce trade “the procedures and opportunity for review [found in] the courtroom for the simplicity, informality, and expedition of arbitration.” Besides its well-known attractive features (for instance, avoiding the home court of the opposing party), arbitration offers one essential benefit to the parties: obtaining an award that is more easily enforceable than a national court judgment.