Challenging arbitral jurisdiction and anti-suit injunctions in France
Produced in partnership with Xavier Nyssen, partner, and Emile Hu, associate, international arbitration, Dechert LLP
Challenging arbitral jurisdiction and anti-suit injunctions in France

The following Arbitration guidance note Produced in partnership with Xavier Nyssen, partner, and Emile Hu, associate, international arbitration, Dechert LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Challenging arbitral jurisdiction and anti-suit injunctions in France
  • Challenging arbitral jurisdiction under French law
  • Anti-suit injunctions—the French perspective

This Practice Note sets out the procedure for challenging the jurisdiction of arbitral tribunals in French courts and the French perspective on anti-suit injunctions.

Due to France’s pro-arbitration bias, the grounds for challenging the jurisdiction of arbitral tribunals before French courts are limited. Under French law, it is the arbitrators who have the power to determine whether they have jurisdiction over a given dispute, although their determination may later be subject to review by a state judge in the context of a request for recognition and enforcement of the award or a petition to set aside the award.

Anti-suit injunctions are orders issued by a court or an arbitral tribunal preventing a party from commencing or continuing a proceeding in another jurisdiction or forum. Anti-suit injunctions are traditionally used in common law jurisdictions and are rarely used in civil law jurisdictions such as France.

While anti-suit injunctions have been enforced by French courts under specific circumstances, French courts tend not to interfere with pending arbitrations once the arbitral tribunal has been constituted.

Note: the French cases referred to below are not reported by LexisNexis® UK.

Challenging arbitral jurisdiction under French law

Under French law, to challenge the jurisdiction of an arbitral tribunal, practitioners will have to consider when they want to raise such challenge before French courts, ie before or after an award