Please join the Columbia International Arbitration Association (CIAA) and the Columbia Society of International Law (CSIL) on November 2, 2017 in JG 107 for a lunchtime discussion with Leon Trakman of the issue ofhow to construe the public policy exception to the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards under Article V(2)(b) of the New York Convention. Some argue that the exception ought to be construed restrictively, encompassing only the domestic public policies of signatory states. Others contend that it should be construed expansively to include transnational public policy considerations as well. Yet others worry that national courts invoking domestic public policy to annul international arbitration awards may do so partially and in deference to the state’s executive. Illustrating concern over the uncertain scope of domestic public policy is a growing number of controversial judicial rulings, including in the US and Russia, in which a domestic court in one jurisdiction annuls a foreign arbitration award on domestic public policy, while a court in another jurisdiction enforces it on diametrically opposed public policy grounds. The presentation will propose working principles of public policy to redress this judicial divergence in a strategic, effective and fair manner.
Leon Trakman is Professor of Contract and Arbitration Law and Past Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. The recipient of a doctorate from Harvard, he is the author of 10 books and over 100 articles in international journals. His academic appointments include, amongst others, Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of California (Davis), Visiting Professor at Wisconsin Law School, Tulane Law School and the University of Cape Town, Professor of Law at Dalhousie University and Bolton Visiting Professor at McGill University. He has served extensively as an international commercial arbitrator and as a panelist appointed by the US, Canadian, and Mexican Governments to decide antidumping, countervailing duty, and injury disputes under the NAFTA.