This sixth post of the Arbitration Proceedings in Yemen will be discussing issues related to the requirements for the issuance of an arbitral award in accordance with Yemen Arbitration Law No (22) of 1992, as amended (the “Arbitration Law”) and Yemeni Centre for Conciliation and Arbitration Rules (“YCCA Rules”).
1. What are the formal requirements of an award? Do arbitration awards have to be signed?
The main formal requirements of an award are clearly set out in Articles (48) and (49) of the YCCA Rules and are as follows:
- to be issued in the agreed language;
- to be reasoned;
- to include names of tribunal members;
- the names of the arbitrating parties, their titles, nationalities and addresses;
- the agreement to arbitrate;
- the facts of the dispute;
- the claims and defences made during the proceedings and the decision of the tribunal in each request/submission;
- the verdict;
- an accurate description of the adjudged amounts;
- the date and place of the award; and
- the party(ies) liable for payment of cost and fees and their allocation.
Arbitration awards must be signed, unless issued by majority, where the majority signatures only would be required.
2. Are there any mandatory time limits within which the tribunal must conclude the arbitration and render its final award? Can time be extended and, if so, how and for how long?
According to Article (44) of YCCA Rules, the arbitral tribunal must issue a final award within three months from the date of the first hearing. The YCCA’s Chairman may extend the period for an additional six months upon adequate justification by the arbitral tribunal. The parties consent for such extension is not required.
3. Must the decision of the tribunal be unanimous or may it be made by majority? If majority awards are permitted, are there any particular ancillary requirements?
The decision of the tribunal may be passed by majority, which includes the tribunal’s Chairman, unless otherwise agreed by the parties.
The dissenting member may record his reasoning, but not necessarily sign the award.
4. Does the laws and regulations in Yemen require the final award to be deposited before the local courts within a certain time frame for it to be valid?
According to Article (50) of the Arbitration Law, the final award must be deposited before the competent court within thirty days from the date of the award.
5. Do reasons for the Award have to be given?
Yes, the giving of reasons for the Award is one of the fundamental requirements of an award unless otherwise agreed by the parties.
6. Does Yemen recognise interim awards, orders or partial awards?
No, interim awards, orders or partial awards are not recognised in Yemen as they are merely considered as orders that may be referred to court for enforcement.
7. Are arbitrators given complete direction to award legal and arbitration costs/fees/expenses? Is it normal for a successful claimant to recover all or most of its legal costs and expenses?
According to Article (49) of the YCCA Rules, the tribunal shall indicate the party liable for the arbitration costs/fees/expenses or its allocation between the parties. The successful claimant may recover the legal costs and expenses if so directed by the tribunal at the end of the arbitration proceedings.
8. Is it normal to allow awards of interest? If so, are there any restrictions (e.g. compound interest)? What rates are normally given?
Interest is not awarded in Yemen as it is seen to violate Shari’a principles. Further, Yemeni laws prohibit the payment of interest, even in the presence of a prior written agreement between the parties.
Article (356) of the Yemeni Civil Code No (14) of 2002 provides:
“Any agreement relating to interest (non-Sharia compliant profit) is void and shall not be enforced. Any agreement found to conceal interest is also void and shall not be enforced”.
9. What power does the arbitral tribunal have to vary, correct, or expand on its award once it has been issued?
According to Article (51) of the YCCA Rules and Article (52) of the Arbitration Law, either party may request the arbitral tribunal, within thirty days from receiving the award, to correct any calculation, wording or interpret any ambiguity in the award. The arbitral tribunal should look into the matter and respond within thirty days from the date of such request. The arbitral tribunal may also independently make changes to the award within thirty days of its issuance. Such changes shall be incorporated and considered as an integral part of the final award.
The next post will be focusing on the recognition and enforcement of domestic orders and awards in Yemen.