The Effect of an Arbitral Award and Third Parties in International Arbitration: Res Judicata Revisited - Vol. 16 No. 1 ARIA 2005
Stavros Brekoulakis - LL.B (Hons) Athens, LL.M (London); Research Fellow School of International Arbitration, Queen Mary, University of London; Attorney at law.
Originally from American Review of International Arbitration - ARIA
Interest in the topic of an arbitral award’s effect and res judicata has increased in recent years.1 This has to some extent been stimulated by the rendering of conflicting awards in some cases. The matter is directly related to the application, or rather the non-application, of the doctrine of res judicata or any other kind of third-party effect of an arbitral award in the context of international arbitration.2 The danger of conflicting awards is particularly noticeable in the case of jurisdictionally fragmented multiparty relationships: in other words, the case where some of the several parties to a multiparty relationship have opted for arbitration while others remain subject to the jurisdiction of national courts or another arbitral tribunal.
This article explores the international framework relating to the effect of an international arbitral award in general, and, in particular, with regard to third parties. Section II first undertakes a comparative analysis of several arbitral rules and national laws. This analysis shows that the current national and international framework relating to the arbitral effect is, where it exists at all, divergent and incomplete; in any event, it fails to meet the particular needs of international arbitration. Section II then explores features of res judicata that constitute a common denominator in different legal systems. The results of this examination provide the conceptual basis for defining the appropriate effect of an arbitral award on third parties in Section IV. [...]
Section V completes the discussion of the suggested third-party arbitral effect by exploring the legal basis of the arbitral effect at an international level. Here, the focus is on the need for a harmonized regulation of the arbitral effect, instead of the current fragmented and, on many occasions, conflicting national regimes.