In RBRG Trading (UK) Limited v Sinocore International Co Ltd  EWCA Civ 838 an Award debtor (“RBRG”) argued that enforcement of an international arbitration award (an “Award”) under the New York Convention would be contrary to English “public policy”.
Finality is one of the key advantages of arbitration. However, if enforcing an Award would offend English public policy then enforcement may be refused by the English Courts. For example, Awards obtained by perjury or fraud can be susceptible to challenge. If an Award is otherwise tainted by illegality (for example, if the underlying contract is illegal), its enforcement may also offend English public policy. The determination of illegality and its effect on enforcement is a matter on which judicial guidance is always welcome.
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