- Privy Council rules on serious irregularity challenges (RAV Bahamas v Therapy Inc)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Arbitration analysis: The appeal to the Privy Council concerned a challenge to an arbitral award for serious irregularity under section 90 of the Bahamas Arbitration Act 2009, which is materially identical to section 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996). It is the first time that the requirement of ‘irregularity causing substantial injustice’ has been considered by a highest appellate court since the decision of the House of Lords in Lesotho Highlands Development Authority v Impregilo SpA. The key issue of principle on the appeal was whether, in order to uphold a challenge to an arbitral award for serious irregularity, there must in every case be: (i) a separate and express allegation of substantial injustice by the applicant; and (ii) separate and express consideration by the court of whether the irregularity complained of has caused or will cause substantial injustice and a separate and express finding to that effect. The Privy Council held that there did not, provided that substantial injustice had in substance been alleged and found, and allowed RAV Bahama’s appeal on that basis. Written by Stuart Cribb, barrister at Essex Court Chambers, and junior counsel for RAV Bahamas before the Privy Council.
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