The Dominican Republic is a party to the following international conventions governing the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards:

  • the Convention on the Recognition and Execution of International Arbitration Judgments, better known as the New York Convention 1958; and
  • the Inter-American Convention on International Commercial Arbitration, better known as the Panama Convention.

New York Convention

The New York Convention was signed on June 10 1958 and was approved by the Dominican Republic through Resolution 178/01. In approving the resolution, the Dominican Republic acknowledged the authority of arbitral awards and provided for their execution under the existing procedural rules.

Under the same convention, recognition or execution of an arbitral award can be denied, at the request of the party against which it is invoked, only if:

  • one of the parties lacked legal capacity or the arbitration agreement was invalid;
  • the party against which the arbitration award is invoked was not duly notified of the appointment of the arbitrator or the commencement of arbitration, or for some reason was unable to defend itself;
  • the award refers to a dispute not foreseen in the arbitration agreement;
  • the award is still not binding on the parties or has been annulled by the competent authority in the country in which it was issued;
  • the subject matter of the dispute is not arbitrable under the laws of the country in which it was issued; or
  • recognition and execution would be contrary to the public order of the Dominican Republic.

Panama Convention

The Dominican Republic is also a party to the Panama Convention, which regulates the recognition and execution of international decisions. The convention was signed on January 30 1975 between the members of the Organisation of American States, and entered into force in the Dominican Republic in 2007 after its approval by Congress through Resolution 432-07.

Under the convention, arbitral awards are recognised as though they were issued by a local court. The grounds to refuse recognition are as follows:

  • One of the parties lacked legal capacity;
  • The arbitration agreement was invalid under the applicable law;
  • The party against which the award is invoked was not duly notified of the appointment of the arbitrator or the commencement of arbitration, or was otherwise unable to defend itself;
  • The award refers to a dispute not foreseen in the arbitration agreement;
  • The constitution of the arbitration tribunal or the arbitration proceedings did not accord with the arbitration agreement; or
  • The award is still not binding on the parties or has been annulled by the competent authority in the country in which it was issued.

For further information on this topic please contact Fabiola Medina Garnes at Medina Garnes Abogados by telephone (+1 809 683 4422) or email (fmedina@mga.com.do). The Medina Garnes Abogados website can be accessed at www.mga.com.do.

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