The main source of international law in the field of commercial arbitration is, no doubt, the New York Convention of 1958 (Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards), developed by UNCITRAL and adopted under the auspices of the UN. Nowadays, almost all member states (more than 140) are economically significant, making it one of the most successful projects in the field of international law.
The Convention is quite short in length; its main substantial portion covers only a few articles. However, it radically alters a number of provisions of international law, including such key concepts as sovereignty and the right to judicial protection.
The two main provisions of the Convention are:
- The recognition and enforcement of arbitration agreements. Article II of the Convention requires, inter alia, that the court, when seized of an action in a matter in respect of which the parties have made an agreement within the meaning of this article, shall, at the request of one of the parties, refer the parties to arbitration, unless it finds that the said agreement is null and void, inoperative or incapable of being performed. In other words, the court will be forced to deny the respondent in judicial protection even if the proceedings in the arbitration case will take place abroad and never fall in the jurisdiction of the court.
- The recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards. Article III-V of the Convention establish the obligation of member states to recognize a foreign arbitral awards in their territory, determine a list of documents that can be requested in the relevant procedure by the local courts and the limited list of grounds for refusing recognition and enforcement of decisions.
The ICAC at the International Committee for Protection of Property holds a Special Administrative Chamber within its structure for executing procedures in regard of decisions produced by the ICAC, for measures ensuring the claims by a party (parties), as well as measures to trace the assets and their recovery by arbitration awards around the world on contractual basis with the applicant.