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Part X Judicial Review, Judicial Performance, and Enforcement, 31 The Principled English Ambivalence to Law and Dispute Resolution Beyond the State

Alex Mills

From: Defining Issues in International Arbitration: Celebrating 100 Years of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators

Edited By: Julio César Betancourt

From: Oxford Legal Research Library (http://olrl.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 23 July 2024

Jurisdiction — Conflict of laws — Arbitral tribunals — Arbitrators — Recognition and enforcement

This chapter examines what appears to be an ambivalence in English law towards non-state forms of law and dispute resolution. It begins by focusing on the fact that an English court will not recognize the validity of a choice of non-state law in a contract, but will nevertheless recognize and enforce an arbitral award based on the application of non-state law, identically chosen by the parties. It then deals with the English courts’ attitude to the recognition and enforcement of a foreign arbitral award which has been set aside by the courts of the seat of the arbitration, under which the arbitral award is neither voided, nor necessarily still enforceable. In both of the contexts examined in this chapter-the question of the validity of a choice of non-state law, and the question of the enforceability of an arbitral award set aside by the courts of the arbitral seat-the underlying issue is the extent to which English law and courts are receptive to non-state norms and normative processes, and the extent to which they remain in a paradigm under which states are the exclusive sovereign actors. In both contexts, the English legal system strikes a balance.

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