On March 4, 2021, the Iraqi parliament issued the law of accession of the Republic of Iraq to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Implementation of International Arbitral Awards, which ratifies the accession of the Iraqi government to the Convention. Regarding the recognition and implementation of international arbitral awards, “The 1958 New York Convention”, as Iraq is the 167th country to join the New York Convention.
What is the significance of the accession law?
- Iraq’s accession to the New York Convention would facilitate and simplify the procedures for enforcing foreign arbitral awards in Iraq.
- For foreign investors, the New York Convention provides reassurance that there is a way to enforce international arbitration awards against entities that have assets held in Iraq.
- Without the New York Convention, the legal framework for enforcing foreign arbitral awards was limited to the 1983 Riyadh Arab Judicial Cooperation Agreement “Riyadh Convention” and the Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act No. (30) of 1928. These laws significantly limit the jurisdictions whose awards will be recognized.
The accession law contained three reservations:
- The provisions of the Convention shall not be applied to arbitration awards issued before the date of Iraq’s accession to the provisions of the Convention
- The provisions of the agreement shall not be applied except in accordance with the principle of reciprocity
- The provisions of the Agreement shall apply only to disputes arising from legal relations that are commercial in character according to the provisions of Iraqi law
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