In Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation v IPCO (Nigeria) Ltd – Lawtel 21.10.08 the Court of Appeal held that there is nothing in the terms of the New York Convention 1958 and the Arbitration Act 1996 to prevent part enforcement of an award in an appropriate case provided the part to be enforced can be ascertained from the face of the award and judgment can be given in the same terms as those in the award.
It held that the purpose behind the Convention was reflected in the language of the 1996 Act. Enforcement "shall not be refused" except in the limited circumstances listed in the Act where the court is not required to refuse, but might do so.
The Court held that the enforcing court's role was therefore not entirely passive or mechanistic. The mere fact that a challenge had been made to the validity of an award in the home court did not prevent the enforcing court from enforcing the award if it considered the award to be manifestly valid. The Act referred to "an" or "the" award, but that did not mean the whole award and nothing but the whole award. Such a construction would be commercially unreal. The word "award" in the 1996 Act should be construed to mean the award or part of it. To be enforceable it had to be possible to enter judgment "in terms of the award", as it had been in the instant case. The judge had been entitled to order part enforcement of the award in the way that he did.