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Title: Enforceability of Arbitral Awards Containing Interest - A Comparative Study between Sharia Law and Positive Laws
Authors: Althabity, Mohammad M
Supervisor(s): Yu, Hong-Lin
Keywords: interest
Saudi Arabia
late payment
applicable law
seat of arbitration
place of enforcement
Issue Date: 22-Jan-2016
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: The dynamics of our globalised world open the way for international trade and transactions between different countries; this may lead to conflicts in laws where transactions and trade may be subject to different legal systems. One of the biggest issues in international commercial law is disputes over the charging of interest, for example with regard to late payment, interest-based loans, or compensation for damages. Interest disputes are considered to be a complex area of law and even more complex in the international field. At the international level, interest claims may be connected to many areas of commerce and thus governed by various laws, which are different from one country to another; moreover, each country has its own interest rate and such rates are changeable according to the nature of law and economics under some jurisdictions. Furthermore, the concept of interest itself is affected by influences such as religious beliefs and economic, political and cultural trends. Interest can be treated as a substantive or a procedural matter. The settlement of these disputes therefore faces difficulties. Arbitration, as a method for settlement of disputes, is characterised by special features that assist in resolving these issues; but it faces some obstructions, especially in international commercial arbitration. The practices of arbitral tribunals and national courts in this regard are different. The results of different interpretations, approaches, and theories with regard to arbitration, at the pre-arbitration, during arbitration and post-arbitration stages, may also differ widely due to the diversity of financial and legal systems such as Common Law, Civil Law and the Islamic legal system – Sharia Law – across different countries. Each legal system has a different methodology and theories, even within an individual country under one legal system, and a state within a federal system has its own laws, which may have different interpretations in this respect. The New York Convention of 1958 on enforcing foreign arbitral awards was established in favour of arbitral awards and for the purpose of unifying international rules of arbitration. This Convention provides some procedural and substantive rules for the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards, but also provides some grounds for refusal. These rules have been affected by different interpretations under different jurisdictions and legal systems, which lead to different perspectives on the matter of charging interest and settlement by arbitration. The outcome of applying the NYC under these interpretations often has the opposite of its intended effect: the rejection of foreign arbitral awards. Due to such ambiguities, courts occasionally intervene in arbitration in all its stages. The interventions of national courts occur in three stages: enforcement of the arbitration agreement, enforcement of the contract under the applicable law to the agreement, and enforcement of the foreign arbitral award. The confusion between substantive and procedural laws also creates confusion with respect to public policy, non-arbitrability and enforceability. In addition, there may be a lack of clarity on the scope of arbitration with respect to the parties’ agreement, whether or not the parties have agreed to the interest rates and periods and whether or not they have agreed to the authority of the arbitrator. These issues affect the enforceability of an arbitration agreement, the law applicable to the disputed contract, the freedom of parties, the authority of the arbitrators and the enforceability of the awarded interest. The thesis studies how arbitral awards containing interest have been interpreted across the three aforementioned legal systems under the NYC 1958 in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, England, France, and the US and the enforceability of such awards.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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