The District Court of Limassol recently issued a judgment in relation to an application filed by the Cooperative Bank of Limassol on May 20 2016.(1) The applicants had sought a court order to cross-examine the affiant on certain paragraphs of his affidavit, which supported an application dated September 22 2014 for the registration and enforcement of an arbitral award in Cyprus.
The affidavit supporting the 2016 application had mentioned that the applicants wished to cross-examine the affiant in order to review and challenge his allegations and conclusions in relation to the following:
- the circumstances of referring the claim to arbitration proceedings;
- the circumstances of summoning the respondent to the arbitration proceedings and how this was presented to the respondent; and
- the circumstances of conducting the arbitration (ie, what was admitted and what was said between the respondent and the arbitrator).
The respondent filed an objection on various grounds, the main reason being that:
"The points/facts on which the cross examination order is sought are, according to case law, irrelevant to the determination of the main application, as these are not examined or taken into account by the Court during the determination of the application for the registration of an arbitral award."
Having examined the grounds supporting the application and the objection, the court concluded that the issues on which the applicants sought to cross-examine the affiant fell outside the scope of the procedure, as such procedure had been settled by case law.
As mentioned in Andreas Hadjigeorgiou Nicolaou v Cooperative Bank of Aglanjia (2012 1ΑΑ 707), when determining the registration and enforcement of an arbitral award, the court should examine neither the correctness of the arbitral award nor the merits of the dispute. Every application for the registration and enforcement of arbitral awards should be served on the respondent in order to give the latter the opportunity to demonstrate any issue relevant to the registration procedure, without examining issues relating to the substance of the dispute.
The court held that it should not exercise its discretion in favour of the applicants, as granting the application would not serve the needs of the registration procedure. Therefore, the court rejected the application.
For further information on this topic please contact Kyriacos Varnavas or Michalis Kouros Loizides at George Z Georgiou & Associates LLC by telephone (+357 22 763 340) or email ([email protected] or [email protected]). The George Z Georgiou & Associates LLC website can be accessed at www.gzg.com.cy.
(1) Cooperative Bank of Limassol Limited v Katerinas Kosta Tsagkari (525/2014)