I. EXPRESS LAW PROVISIONS RELEVANT TO JURA NOVIT CURIA
A. 1958 New York Convention
Although France is a signatory of the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, French courts almost never apply it. It is widely considered in France that the French law of recognition and enforcement of judgments is more liberal than the New York Convention, and that French law may thus be applied through Article 7 of the Convention, which authorizes application of national law when it is more favorable to the recognition and the enforcement of the relevant award. As a result, the applicability of the Convention is almost never raised before French courts, which directly apply French law.
B. French Arbitration Law
1. French Code of Civil Procedure
Under the French law of arbitration, arbitral awards may be challenged under five grounds. Two are relevant for the purposes of this study. The first is that arbitrators should not act in excess of the power that was conferred on them (the ‘mission’). The second is that the parties should be treated fairly from a procedural perspective (hereafter ‘due process’).
a) Excess of power
Under the first ground, arbitral tribunals (ATs) may not violate their mission as defined by the agreement of the parties. This surely includes any provision on the applicable law.