In France, Increasing Court Control Over Arbitral Awards

By Stéphane Bonifassi and Elena Fedorova (February 8, 2019, 4:53 PM EST) -- The public policy defense is one of the five challenges to the enforcement of arbitral awards available for parties before French courts.[1] The public policy defense has always been a ground widely used by parties for challenging enforcement in France. Although there are many definitions of public policy, traditionally, the most common definition has been that public policy "refers to matters which the laws of a state or state courts have determined to be of such fundamental importance that the contracting parties are not free to avoid or circumvent them."[2] Thus, the public policy challenge allows parties to claim that an arbitral award should not be enforced in France for a very broad range of reasons, including allegations of corruption, money-laundering, violations of antitrust laws, etc. However, as France is an arbitration-friendly state, the scope of public policy is interpreted narrowly by French courts and international arbitral awards are rarely set aside on this basis....

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