Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The scope of rights of appeal (not recourse) from arbitration awards

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posted on 2021-11-15, 02:20 authored by Suter, Benjamin

This paper examines the scope of rights of appeal from arbitration awards in New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.  In countries that have drafted their legislation after the UNCITRAL Model Law appeals are often excluded and only recourse based on very narrow grounds is available. While many countries are more permissive with regards to appeals than the Model Law in that they allow the parties to opt for more expansive review, none of the examined jurisdictions give the parties the right to opt for appeals on questions of law and fact.  In several cases parties have tried to expand the rights of appeal by agreement. Such agreements are deemed invalid in all jurisdictions. When examining whether the invalid clause renders the entire arbitration agreement invalid, courts in common law jurisdictions have applied the doctrine of severance in some variations. Civil law courts usually examine whether the parties would have concluded the contract without the invalid clause (“but for”-test). This paper suggests that many of these tests are not suitable for arbitration agreements where the parties do not exchange considerations but rather promise one another exactly the same. The preferable approach is to combine the “but for”-test with a test that assesses if severance alters the nature of the agreement.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Name

Master of Law

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

1 Pure Basic Research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Masters Research Paper or Project



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Law