"Manifest Disregard: and International Arbitration Awards - Part 5, Chapter 45 - Practice of International Litigation - 2nd Edition
Lawrence W. Newman
1 PDF Download
Lawrence W. Newman has been a Partner in the New York office of Baker & McKenzie since 1971, when, together with the late Professor Henry deVries, he founded the litigation department in that office. He is the author/editor of four works on international litigation/arbitration.
Michael Burrows, Formerly, Of Counsel, Baker & McKenzie, New York.
“Manifest disregard of the law” are the words often heard in international arbitration conferences as part of the clarion call trumpeted by those seeking to undermine New York as a venue for the conduct of international arbitration. The argument is made that courts in New York (and elsewhere in the United States) use the manifest disregard doctrine as a basis for second-guessing the decisions of arbitrators, thereby undermining the arbitral process. The allegation raises the question, “truth or myth?”
As a factual matter, how often have New York courts (and U.S. courts) actually used the manifest disregard doctrine to vacate an international arbitration award? And, do the courts of other countries have their own ways of undoing arbitral awards that they regard as going beyond what the arbitrators should have done, yet do so under principles that they call something other than manifest disregard? In a recent report, the International Commercial Disputes Committee (ICDC) of the New York City Bar Association looked closely at these issues and made findings that are arresting. Coauthor David Zaslowsky is a member of the committee.1