Enforcing an arbitral award in Germany:
German arbitration law provides for recognition and enforcement of domestic and foreign arbitral awards. Germany is also a party to the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards (New York Convention); the 1961 European Convention on International Commercial Arbitration (Geneva Convention); and the 1965 Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (ICSID Convention).
Applications for the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award must be filed with the higher regional court (Oberlandesgericht). In the case of domestic awards, the application must be sent to the higher regional court designated in the arbitration agreement or in whose district the place of arbitration is located. In the case of foreign awards, the application must be sent to the higher regional court in whose district the opposing party has its place of residence or where assets of the party or property in dispute are located. The application must be in German and should include the original award or a certified copy of the award.
If an arbitral award is (for example) contrary to the domestic German public policy, the award will not be recognised or declared enforceable.
Enforcing an arbitral award abroad:
In order to enforce an arbitral award in a specific country, the award must be recognized by that country’s national courts.
The two basic actions contemplated by the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the New York Convention) are the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards through domestic courts and the referral by a court to arbitration.
A party seeking enforcement of a foreign award needs to supply to the domestic court (a) the arbitral award and (b) the arbitration agreement. As for the referral of a dispute to arbitration, a court of a Contracting State, when seized of a matter in respect of which the parties have made an arbitration agreement, must, at the request of one of the parties, refer the dispute to arbitration.
For further information on enforcing an arbitral award abroad, please contact your legal adviser.