07 Apr 2010

SPECIAL TRIBUNAL RELATED TO DUBAI WORLD - ARBITRATION CLAIMS

Authored by: Adrian Chadwick

SPECIAL TRIBUNAL RELATED TO DUBAI WORLD - ARBITRATION CLAIMS

The Special Tribunal to decide the disputes related to the Settlement of the Financial Position of Dubai World and its Subsidiaries (the Tribunal) has issued its first Practice Direction.
 
Tribunal Practice Direction No.1 of 2010 - Arbitration Claims (TPD 001/2010) was issued on 30 March 2010 and came into immediate effect. The Practice Direction states that the Tribunal will respect and enforce arbitration agreements made between Dubai World and/or its subsidiaries and its creditors.
 
It further provides that where disputes have already risen, the Tribunal expects the parties to continue with pending arbitration proceedings in accordance with their contractual obligations. However any applications in relation to arbitration agreements or to pending arbitration references are to be made to the Tribunal and not to a court.
 
The Dubai International Arbitration Centre has also confirmed that Dubai Decree No. 57 for 2009 (which established the Tribunal) does not affect disputes where the parties have agreed to have the dispute determined by arbitration although any resulting arbitration award has to be enforced through the Tribunal.
 
Ever since Dubai Decree No. 57 was issued on 14 December 2009 it has been unclear whether it extended to arbitration claims. It is helpful that this uncertainty has been removed as it is now clear that creditors of Dubai World and/or its Subsidiaries are still bound by any contractual obligation they have entered into to have their dispute determined by arbitration.