Arbitration is a consensual process central to which is the assumption that parties should be free to agree how their disputes are resolved. What happens after the publication of an arbitration award also depends on what the parties have agreed should happen. Either it is the end of the road, the issues cannot be reopened between the parties, and if appropriate the award may be enforced; or the award could, if certain conditions are fulfilled, be appealed further to the Courts. However, it is not always clear what the parties intended should happen.
The issue recently came before the Commercial Court in Shell Egypt West Manzala GmbH v Dana Gas Egypt Ltd ("Shell v Dana"), which has served to highlight a need for clear words in arbitration agreements to reflect what the parties intend should happen after an award is published.
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