The Legal Nature of Arbitration Awards and the Question of Whether Omitting the Name of the Supreme
Authority in the Country from the Award Is a Fundamental Flaw which Justifies Invalidation
Despite the long history of arbitration being used as a method of resolving disputes, the precise legal nature of arbitration and arbitral awards remains controversial. The controversy is reflected in the manner in which courts have dealt with arbitral awards, particularly with respect to recognition and enforcement. One key question regarding the recognition of arbitral awards is whether it must be issued in the name of the country’s supreme authority and whether it may be nullified if it lacks such detail. The Qatari legal scene was confronted with this question in June 2012 when the Court of Cassation refused to recognize an arbitral award on the basis that the award was not issued in the name of the Emir of Qatar. Following this decision, debate erupted among legal professionals who were largely divided on the merits of the decision. After some two years of heated debate, the Court of Cassation abandoned its stance and has now recognized arbitral awards that do not carry the name of the Emir.