Interim Relief in International Arbitration - Enforcement is a substantial problem- Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 51, No. 4
The author is a partner in the Seattle office of the Perkins Coie law firm and specializes in international and domestic dispute resolution. He is a member of the panel of arbitrators of the Asian-Pacific Center for the Resolution of International Business Disputes, the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, the British Columbia International Commercial Arbitration Centre, the Commercial Arbitration Association of the Republic of China, the London Court of International Arbitration, and the AAA, among others. This paper was presented at the Inter-American Conference on Commercial Arbitration, held Sept. 22, 1995, in San Antonio, Tex.
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
In the area of international arbitration, the compelling need for interim relief is generally recognized and accepted, although enforcement mechanisms are sadly lacking. A solution may lie within the authority of the courts to compel compliance, but precedent has been contradictory at best. “The overriding concern is the risk of making an order which may turn out to be premature and erroneous after the facts and law have been fully developed at the hearing,” writes the author, who spotlights the ongoing concerns of the courts and the arbitral authorities.
There is frequently a compelling need to seek interim relief (sometimes called conservatory and provisional measures) in connection with an international arbitration. Interim measures address the requirements of a party for immediate and temporary protection of rights or property pending a decision on the merits by the arbitral tribunal. Perhaps the two most common forms of interim relief are attachments and injunctions. For example, an attachment is sought to prevent the dissipation of the assets that are the subject of the arbitration. An injunction is requested to protect property rights at issue in the arbitration. Interim relief can also involve the safeguarding and preservation of perishable property.