Even though Papua New Guinea (PNG) is not a
member of the New York Convention on the Recognition and
Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, it is possible to agree in
a contract to international arbitration.
PNG has domestic arbitration legislation, but it does not
provide for the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral
awards. The Arbitration Act 1951 (Act)
allows parties to choose a tribunal which suits their specific
needs but does not provide a mechanism for enforcing binding awards
made by international commercial arbitration. Parties cannot rely
on the Act to enforce a foreign arbitral award.
Given PNG has no bilateral reciprocal enforcement arrangements
with any country concerning arbitral awards, it is worthwhile to
consider including suitable international arbitration dispute
resolution clauses into contracts.
Contract drafting stage
At the contract drafting stage, it is advisable to choose a
country for the seat of arbitration to be a jurisdiction that
provides reciprocal treatment for PNG judgments under the
Reciprocal Enforcement of Foreign Judgements Act 1976
(Foreign Judgements Act).
For existing contracts the only way to proceed is for one of the
parties to ask a court in a country with which PNG has reciprocal
enforcement of foreign judgement arrangements to seal the
arbitration award, and then attempt to have the sealed award
enforced in PNG as a judgment of the foreign court pursuant to the
Foreign Judgements Act.
The Foreign Judgements Act provides reciprocal treatment for
judgements given in foreign countries which accord reciprocal
treatment to judgements given in PNG. In order to validly enforce
an international arbitral award in PNG, that award would need
be registered as a judgement by a court in the foreign country
that already provides reciprocal treatment;
not be older than 6 years after the date of judgement;
have no ongoing appeals; and
be registered in the PNG National Court.
Once the foreign judgement is registered in the National Court,
the judgement can be enforced.
How we can help?
If you provide us with the country name we will be able to
determine if that country provides reciprocal treatment to PNG
under the Foreign Judgements Act. We can also assist in drafting a
suitable international arbitration dispute resolution clause
tailored for PNG.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
The TPP could have a significant positive impact on the investment and financial services of Australia and Singapore.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).