Arbitration agreements—requirements of the New York Convention
Arbitration agreements—requirements of the New York Convention

The following Arbitration guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Arbitration agreements—requirements of the New York Convention
  • The New York Convention and arbitration agreements
  • The agreement in writing requirement (Article II(1))
  • The all or any existing or future differences requirement (Article II(1))
  • The defined legal relationship (contractual or not) requirement (Article II(1))
  • The arbitrability requirement (Article II(1))
  • The legal capacity requirement (Article V(1)(a))
  • The validity under the law of the arbitration agreement requirement (Article V(1)(a))
  • Enforcement of arbitration agreements (Article II(3))

The New York Convention and arbitration agreements

The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958 (the New York Convention) sets out the requirements for valid arbitration agreements, which Contracting States to the New York Convention undertake to recognise and enforce by referring the parties to arbitration. The mandatory nature of the requirement to recognise and enforce valid arbitration agreements has been confirmed by legislation and decisions in most jurisdictions.

The scope of the New York Convention was initially intended to be limited to the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards alone, but a specific provision on the recognition and enforcement of arbitration agreements was included during the final few weeks before the New York Convention was adopted (and when the text was largely agreed), which explains why this aspect of the New York Convention is not reflected in the treaty’s title or in other provisions of the New York Convention where one may have expected reference to have been made had the drafters had more time.

For guidance on the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards pursuant to the New York Convention, see Practice Note: The New York Convention—the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards—an introduction.

In respect of arbitration agreements, Article II of the New York Convention provides as follows:

‘1. Each Contracting State shall recognize an agreement