The Spanish High Court recently allowed an appeal  to review a judgment against a final award for  infringement during the arbitration procedure. The  decision centered on the right to have effective legal  protection through a resolution based on law where  the arbitrator takes into account all known elements, or  those that could be known.

The arbitration proceedings were brought by a person who claimed  a compensation for damages against a company. During the  proceedings the arbitrator asked the claimant for evidence proving  the damages which the claim was based on.

The claimant alleged before the arbitrator that he could not file the  documents and evidence of the damages because said documents  had to be granted by a public entity which had not been issued at  that time. Therefore, the claimant submitted a document stating that  he had filed the respective document to the public entity requiring the  referred documents and evidences.

The arbitrator issued the award a few weeks later. At that time, the  documents and evidence requested by the claimant had not been  issued and therefore were not taken into account. The arbitrator  rejected the claim on the basis that the claimant had not filed  evidence of the damages and as a result did not provide specific  quantification of the damages. Therefore, it was impossible at that  time to state a value.

Upon receiving the documents, the claimant contacted the arbitrator  who confirmed that the award was final, and that it was only possible  to apply for review under the Spanish Procedure Act.

The claimant filed the appeal to review the judgment before the  Spanish High Court, asserting that the documents he now held where  impossible to obtain for the arbitral proceedings due to force majeure.

The Spanish High Court accepted the appeal, stating that the  arbitrator knew that the documents and evidence to determine the  qualification of the damages were to be issued in a short period  of time but still refused to wait for them before issuing the award  pursuant to the rules of arbitration. Although he could have issued  the award stating the duty to compensate the damages when  damages were evidenced with the documents provided.

The High Court noted that it is a constitutional right to have access  to an effective remedy, based on law that takes into account all the  relevant elements that are known or could be known.