The Application of the 1958 New York Convention in Qatar
The New York Convention provides a uniform legal framework for the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in 150 Contracting States. Although the New York Convention has been criticized for some textual ambiguities and the lack of a clear common standard of ‘public policy,’ its application has been a real success in the field of arbitration for more than sixty years. As it became a signatory of the New York Convention in 2003, Qatar is obliged to recognize all forms of ‘written arbitration agreements’ and to enforce foreign arbitral awards according to its internal rules of procedure. In the last two years, the Qatari Supreme Court has decided surprisingly to use the ‘national’ standard of public policy to set aside a number of national and foreign arbitral awards based on the absence of a formal prologue at the opening of the award as required for the court’s judgments. Finally, a recent judgment of the Court of Cassation declared that the requirement under Qatari Law that all decisions issued in Qatar be issued in the name of the Emir does not apply to an ICC award since the parties agreed in their contract that the arbitration would be governed by the ICC Rules and that Qatari Law applied to the merits of the dispute only.