Iraq Ratifies New York Convention of 1958

Client Alert

The Law implements the Iraqi Council of Ministers Decree of 2018 The Law will come into force on publication in the Official Gazette. Accession to the New York Convention should facilitate the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in Iraq, although it remains to be seen how the Iraqi courts will apply the ordre public reservation.

Prior to the Law, the enforcement of a foreign arbitral award was mostly dependent on the Riyadh Convention on Judicial Cooperation of 1983. That Convention prescribed conditions that have often delayed the enforcement process,such as the requirement for a statement from the local judicial authority certifying that the award was final. The Riyadh Convention also did not permit enforcement proceedings

against Iraqi government entities. Under the New York Convention, no separate certification is required, and enforcement may be sought against state entities.

The following is also noteworthy:

• The New York Convention will not apply retroactively. It will apply only to foreign arbitral awards made after promulgation of the Law.

• The Law specifically states that arbitral awards against another member state will be enforced only on the basis of reciprocity, i.e. Iraqi courts will only enforce arbitral awards of other signatory states if such states allow for the enforcement of Iraqi arbitral awards.

• The New York Convention will apply only to awards settling disputes arising out of contracts of a commercial nature, as defined by Iraqi law, e.g. commercial transactions and practices stated in Articles 4, 5, 6 and 7 of the 1970 Commercial Code. This excludes awards concerning disputes of a non-commercial nature, including family, civil and criminal matters. It remains to be seen whether the Iraqi courts will consider administrative contracts to be of a commercial nature if they regulate commercial activities as defined by the Iraqi Commercial Code. 

To learn how the Law will affect your company’s current and future contracts in terms of arbitration or, in case of any other query, please feel free to contact us. 

Mohammed Al Tamimi

Sarmad Akrawi

BAGHDAD | MENA Associates in association with Amereller | Mansour Street 1, District 601 House 22 | Baghdad | Iraq | T +964 780 000 3232 BASRA | MENA Associates in association with Amereller | Sayid Ameen Street | Bradeya | Basra | Iraq | T +964 780 000 8383

ERBIL | MENA Associates in association with Amereller | World Trade Center, Golan Street, 10th Floor | Erbil | Kurdistan Region of Iraq | T +964 750 346 0444 

This client alert is a public document for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Readers should not act upon the information provided here without consulting with professional legal counsel. This material may be considered advertising under certain rules of professional conduct. Copyright © 2021

AMERELLER Iraq Ratifies New York Convention of 1958

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