The Role of New York Courts in International Arbitration - Chapter 8 - Arbitration of International Disputes in New York
Dr. Peter (Pieter) Bekker is an international arbitration practitioner and professor. He has been a member of the Bar of the State of New York since 1992. He is also a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. He is admitted to practice before the U.S. district courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He is a commissioned New York Notary Public and, as such, a constitutional officer of the State of New York, where he resides.
Originally from Arbitration of International Disputes in New York
8.1 Jurisdiction of New York Federal and State Courts
The selection of the appropriate U.S. federal or state court in which to challenge an arbitration agreement or an arbitral award, to enforce an arbitration agreement or arbitral award, or to make any other motion relating to an international arbitration depends on the court maintaining the appropriate jurisdiction (depending on the applicability of the FAA or the CPLR) and, in some cases, party preference.
Motions related to arbitration may only be brought before a U.S. federal district court if that court has a basis of subject-matter jurisdiction. There are three applicable bases of federal subject-matter jurisdiction: (i) federal-question jurisdiction; (ii) diversity jurisdiction; or (iii) admiralty jurisdiction. For arbitration agreements and arbitral awards falling within the scope of the New York Convention (Chapter 2 of the FAA) or the Panama Convention (Chapter 3 of the FAA), the FAA grants U.S. federal courts original jurisdiction, without regard to the amount in dispute. Motions in relation to an arbitration addressing a controversy between the parties that “arises under” federal law can be brought before a U.S. federal district court based on federal-question jurisdiction. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, the words “controversy between the parties” mean “the [entire, actual] substantive conflict between the parties.” Proper federal jurisdiction also may be established under Chapter 1 of the FAA through diversity jurisdiction, so long as no party on one side of the dispute shares state citizenship with a party on the other side of the dispute (“complete diversity” ), and the amount in dispute exceeds USD 75,000. All disputes concerning admiralty law may be heard by U.S. federal district courts.
The majority of arbitrations, and all international commercial arbitrations falling under the New York or Panama Conventions, will have a basis in one of these areas of jurisdiction, and hence a party as a rule will be able to bring an arbitration-related motion in a U.S. federal court.