The Standard of Reasoning in Arbitral Awards
Barger Prekop attorneys Roman Prekop and Peter Petho address whether there is a requirement that international arbitral awards be reasoned and whether the reasoning should have a certain ‘quality’ in order to satisfy a certain minimum ‘standard’ for withstanding an ordinary court’s scrutiny. The authors first conclude that it has become an internationally accepted standard that arbitral awards contain reasoning. This standard is implemented in the vast majority of binding legal instruments governing international arbitration (international arbitration conventions, national arbitration laws, and widely used arbitration rules) which explicitly require that awards be reasoned, although the parties can usually waive such a requirement. Second, the authors are of the view that there is one vague international standard and various, albeit converging, national standards in the countries following the UNCITRAL Model Law (with a particular focus in this article on the Swiss, Austrian, and Slovak standards of review) which denote what the reasoning should contain. Yet, the authors believe that until a unified common standard is devised, the arbitrators should do their utmost to make reasoning in their awards as persuasive as possible by taking care to properly identify, consider, and address all relevant issues raised by the parties throughout the proceedings, and briefly explain why they treated other issues as irrelevant. This will help to achieve the goal of having a widely enforceable award.
Reproduced with permission from Lex Lata BV. This article was first published in Czech (& Central European) Yearbook of Arbitration®, Volume VIII, 2018, Arbitral Awards and Remedies. For further information please visit www.czechyearbook.org.”