Saturday, February 13, 2016

Recognition of Foreign Arbitral Awards in the Dominican Republic

1. Recognition of Foreign Arbitral Awards in the Dominican Republic:

The Dominican Republic is a party to the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (“the New York Convention”), which is in force since 1958, establishes the general obligation for the parties to recognize as binding the arbitral awards from the territory of another country or state which is also a party, and governs the rules for their enforcement.

The New York Convention provides that the parties shall enforce such awards in accordance with their respective rules of procedure.

Dominican Law 489-08 on Commercial Arbitration establishes that “ Arbitral awards issued abroad are enforced in the Dominican Republic in accordance with this law and the treaties, international agreements or conventions in force binding the country, which are applicable to it” [Article 42].

2. Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards in the Dominican Republic:

A party seeking enforcement in the Dominican Republic of a foreign award needs to file an enforcement request and supply to the court with (i) the arbitral award duly certified by the arbitration court and apostilled (and an official translation thereof in case it is in a language different than Spanish); and (ii) the arbitration agreement duly apostilled.

Our local Rules of procedure for the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards are contained within Law 489-08 on Arbitration, which in summary provide that:

(a) The issuance of the enforcement order is of the exclusive competence of the Civil and Commercial Chamber of the Court of First Instance of the National District, which shall become effective throughout the entire territory of the Dominican Republic;

(b) The enforcement request will be examined by the court within the limits of the New York Convention;

(c) The party against whom enforcement is sought can object to the enforcement order by submitting to the corresponding Court of Appeals sufficient proof of one of the grounds for refusal of enforcement which are limitatively listed in the New York Convention.

(d)  The court may on its own motion refuse enforcement for reasons of public policy.

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