China: 英国法下不满仲裁裁决的法院救济之路

Last Updated: 6 March 2018
Article by John Liu and Minli Tang

"一裁终局"是仲裁的基本原则,一般情况下当仲裁裁决作出后,当事人就同一纠纷申请再次仲裁或另行起诉的,将不被受理。然而,该原则并不意味着当事人只能无条件接受裁决,在某些法域、特定情况下,当事人在收到仲裁裁决后仍旧有机会对裁决提出异议,甚至上诉法院。在国际贸易中,有不少情况下双方当事人约定英国法为适用法,英国法下对于前述问题的规定见于《1996年仲裁法》(Arbitration Act 1996)1,该法下基于不同情形,给当事人提供了三种救济可能。

一、英国法下不满仲裁裁决的三种救济途径

《1996年仲裁法》中规定的救济方式有以下三种:第一、提出实体管辖权异议(Section 67: Challenging the award: substantive jurisdiction);第二种:针对严重不规范行为提出异议Section 68: Challenging the award: serious irregularity);第三种:针对法律问题提出上诉(Section 69: Appeal on point of law)。

1. 第67条:提出实体管辖权异议(Section 67: Challenging the award: substantive jurisdiction)

在论述如何运用该法条寻求救济之前,需明确何为实体管辖权(substantial jurisdiction)的含义,该类管辖权指同法第30条第1款第a-c项规定的有关事项:

  1. 是否存在有效的仲裁协议,
  2. 仲裁庭是否适当组成,及
  3. 何等事项按照仲裁协议已提交仲裁。

而对于仲裁庭的越权行为属于超出以上实体管辖权之外的情形,则可以依据同法第68条第2款有关规定寻求救济(详见下文针对第68条的分析)。

针对上述实体管辖权,除非当事人另有约定,仲裁庭基于同法第30条,有权力自行作出裁决。而第67条赋予当事人就这类管辖权问题再次寻求救济的权利——在仲裁庭作出有关实体管辖权的裁决后,如果当事人不服,则仍旧可以向法院申请再次审理该类管辖权问题(第67条第1款第a-b项):

  1. 就仲裁庭针对其实体管辖权问题作出的裁决提出异议
  2. 请求法院作出裁定,声明因仲裁庭无实体管辖权,所以其就案件实体问题作出的裁决全部或部分无效。

但是,在向法院提出该项申请后、法院作出裁决之前,不妨碍仲裁庭同时继续推进仲裁程序(第67条第2款)。依据案件事实,法院可以:确认仲裁庭有关实体管辖权的裁决、修改裁决,或全部/部分撤销裁决(第67条第3款)。

2. 第68条:针对严重不规范行为提出异议(Section 68: Challenging the award: serious irregularity)

当存在对仲裁庭、仲裁程序或仲裁裁决造成"严重不正常(serious irregularity)"影响的事项时,当事人可以在通知对方当事人及仲裁庭之后,向法院提出申请,质疑相关的仲裁裁决。第68条第2款下规定基于"严重不规范"向法院要求救济必须是相关事项导致了"重大不公正"(substantial injustice)的后果,并且属于同款下第a-i项下之9种"严重不规范"之一。最后法院可以做出三种裁定:a. 将裁决全部或部分发回重审,b. 全部或部分撤销裁决,或c. 宣布裁决全部或部分无效。不过,法院在裁定撤销或宣布仲裁裁决无效之前,必须确保该仲裁裁决已经不适合发回仲裁庭重审(第68条第3款第a-c项)。

a. 仲裁庭违反本法第33条下规定的仲裁庭应尽的一般义务 (failure by the tribunal to comply with section 33 (general duty of tribunal))

第33条第1款下规定仲裁庭应尽的一般义务为:

  1. 公平、公正地对待当事人,给予各方当事人合理机会以陈述案件并就对方当事人的陈述进行抗辩
  2. 根据个体案件的具体情况采取合适的程序,避免不必要的延误或开支,以就待决事项给出公平的解决方式。

同条第2款进一步规定仲裁庭在进行仲裁程序、在其对程序和证据事项的决定中以及在行使授予它的所有其他权力时,都应遵守该一般义务。

不难看出,第33条规定的内容可涵盖内容较广,在实践中最为常见,却也是争议性最多的一类事项。而为了限制这一范围的过度扩张,法院提出了仲裁庭的行为必须导致了"重大不公正"的结果。

b. 仲裁庭超越其权限(除第67条下规定的涉及实体管辖权的情况)(the tribunal exceeding its powers (otherwise than by exceeding its substantive jurisdiction: see section 67))

该条的立法目的在于将仲裁庭的权力(除实体管辖权)限制在一个"审理范围"(Terms of Reference)内。即,仲裁庭的权力来源于当事人的协议授权,也只能在被授权范围内行事。这在实践中经常体现为仲裁庭的超裁行为,而针对超裁部分当事人当然有权利提出异议,要求撤销超裁部分。

此处需要注意的是,如果在仲裁过程中,如仲裁庭未依据当事人约定的程序来推进仲裁,则该种超越权限的行为则单独适用第68条第2款第c项的规定:仲裁庭未遵照当事人约定的程序进行仲裁

c. 仲裁庭未遵照当事人约定的程序进行仲裁 (failure by the tribunal to conduct the proceedings in accordance with the procedure agreed by the parties)

该项的适用情形与前述第2项有非常类似,只是针对的事项以程序性事项为限制,在此不再赘述。

d. 仲裁庭未处理当事人请求的所有事项 (failure by the tribunal to deal with all the issues that were put to it)

仲裁庭是否未处理当事人请求的事项同样也需要适用造成"重大不公正"的后果。因此,对于仲裁庭未处理事项就需要做出区分,如果是"主要争议(essential issues)"那么仲裁庭的未处理行为才会成为法院干预的理由,且需要申请人的举证。反之,如果未处理事项为"非重要的争议点(unessential points)"则在实践中并不能获得法院的支持。

e. 由当事人授权有关仲裁程序或裁决权力的仲裁机构、其他机构或个人超越其授权范围 (any arbitral or other institution or person vested by the parties with powers in relation to the proceedings or the award exceeding its powers)

该项是第68条下再次提到仲裁庭超越权限的问题,但与之前几次不同,该条规定的超出授权范围的主体是"由当事人授权有关仲裁程序或裁决权力的仲裁机构、其他机构或个人",即涵盖了除仲裁庭以外更大范围内的所涉主体,这种立法方式相当于一个针对"超越权限"的兜底条款。当然,这种非常宽泛的超越权限仍须受造成"重大不公正"的限制。

f. 裁决的效力不确定或模棱两可 (uncertainty or ambiguity as to the effect of the award)

该情形针对的是仲裁裁决的效力问题,是形式和表述问题,而非裁决中的论证推理。因此申请人可以基于该条款请求仲裁庭依据同法第57条的规定纠正裁决的文书错误或偶然的省略,避免民商事交往关系处于不确定的状态。如果通过第57条的救济方式,当事人仍旧无法获得相应救济的话,当事人可以再依据本项寻求法院的救济。

g. 裁决因欺诈获取,或裁决本身或获取裁决的方式违背公共秩序 (the award being obtained by fraud or the award or the way in which it was procured being contrary to public policy)

该项下规定了两种"严重不正常",第一种是"欺诈",第二种是"违背公共政策"。

对于第一种"欺诈"较为常见的是贿赂仲裁员以及提供虚假的文件/证据等。

第二种"违背公共政策",这种情况虽包含范围广阔,但是不包含"欺诈"类行为(由第一种情况规制)。另外,值得注意的是,"违背公共政策"不仅要求裁决本身不能违背公共政策,也要求获得裁决的过程必须遵守公共政策。两者中但凡出现违背公共政策的行为,且造成"重大不公正",当事人都可依据该项寻求救济。

h. 仲裁裁决存在形式上未符合要求的情况 (failure to comply with the requirements as to the form of the award)

类似前述第f项,当仲裁裁决的形式不符合规定时,当事人同样也应先向仲裁庭寻求第57条下的救济,更正或补充裁决。如仍旧无法获得公正救济,则可依据该项向法院寻求救济。

i. 仲裁程序中及仲裁裁决中存在任何不规范行为,且仲裁庭或当事人授权有关仲裁程序或裁决权力的仲裁机构、其他机构或个人承认存在这些不规范行为 (Any irregularity in the conduct of the proceedings or in the award which is admitted by the tribunal or by any arbitral or other institution or person vested by the parties with powers in relation to the proceedings or the award)

该项下,由于相关主体已承认自己的不规范行为,故而法院在作出裁决的过程中所受到的阻碍最小,审理过程也最顺利,但在现实中也最难以实现(较难让涉事者自己承认)。

3. 第69条:对法律问题提出上诉(第 69条: Appeal on point of law)

该条第1款规定:除非当事人另有约定,仲裁程序中的一方当事人在通知另一方当事人及仲裁庭之后,可以就仲裁裁决中的"法律问题"(point of law)向法院提起上诉。不过,如果当事人约定就仲裁裁决仲裁庭可以不给出裁决理由,则该约定视为双方约定排除法院在第69条下的管辖权。

同条第2款规定,该类上诉只能通过两个方式:a. 仲裁程序中所涉当事人均同意;b. 获得法院许可(leave of the court)。

同款第3条规定,法院将在同时满足四个条件的情况下接受该上诉:

  1. 该问题严重影响当事人的权利;
  2. 该问题已向仲裁庭提出,并要求对此裁决;
  3. 裁决中具有"明显错误(obviously wrong)"或裁决中的事项具有普遍的公共重要性(general public important)且仲裁庭对此作出的决定存在重大疑问,且
  4. 尽管当事人合意提交仲裁,但基于公平恰当(just and proper)的要求应当由法院作出决定。

对于何谓"法律问题",Mustill法官在Vinava Shipping Co Ltd v Finelvet AG (The "Chrysalis") 一案中给出了有关仲裁员如何作出裁决的经典三段论分析2:

第一阶段:仲裁员确定事实,这一阶段包含了对所有争议事实的调查;

第二阶段:仲裁员确定法律,这一阶段包括对法律法规的查明、合同的解释,以及确定其他任何在作出决定时需要考虑的问题;

第三阶段:仲裁员基于所确定的事实与法律做出裁决。

而针对"法律问题"的上诉只可能与第二阶段下的事项有关。同时,这些问题必须是基于英国法产生的问题,在Schwebel v Schwebel3一案中,Akenhead法官指出,当不涉及英国法问题时,英国法院无权基于第69条允许当事人就犹太法律进行上诉。相似的,如果当事人约定授权仲裁庭依据友好调解人(amiable compositeur)或公允善良原则(ex aequo et bono)进行仲裁,那么第69条也不适用。

并且这些"法律问题"必须是仲裁程序内裁决中出现的问题,且上诉人是该裁决下的当事人。可以是临时裁决、最终裁决或部分裁决。4

二、三种救济之限制

上述三种救济,除了前述已经提及的、规定于各法条框架内的各种限制外,此三者还受到同法其他一些通用条款的限制,亦或是当事人可以约定排除。

1. 同法的其他限制

对于基于第67条及第68条而提出的异议/上诉而言,受同法第70条第2/3款以及第73条的限制。就第69条的上诉而言,受同法第70条第2/3款的限制。

第70条第2/3款

第70条第2款规定在向法院提出申请/上诉之前,当事人必须先穷尽任何在原仲裁程序内可获得的救济途径,包括基于同法第57条向仲裁庭申请修改裁决。同条第3款进一步规定了向法院提出申请/上诉的时效:当事人必须在获悉相应仲裁裁决之日起28天内提出申请/上诉。

28天并非绝对的时间,当事人用尽其他救济以后,如向法院申请延期,且法院认为该延期是合理正当、不损害其他当事人的利益,则可以做出延期的决定。该延期的决定可以在28天未全部经过时做出。

如果当事人由于自身的法律意识薄弱,知识储备不足等问题,导致申请的救济种类不被法院认可,那么28日的救济期将会被错过。同时,除这三种方式以外并无其他救济途径,因此对于当事人来说选择适合的律师尤为重要。

第73条

第73条则规定,如果当事人在仲裁程序过程中未在约定或法定的时间期限内提出异议,则其不得在之后再提出相关的异议,除非其当时在尽到合理的勤勉义务后,仍旧无法在时效内发现异议依据。如果仲裁庭作出其具有实体管辖权的裁决,而当事人可以在仲裁程序内提出异议或向法院提出异议,却未在约定或法定的时间期限内提出相关异议,其在之后也无权再提出相关异议。

2. 当事人约定排除

第67条、第68条和第69条都是提出的异议或上诉的救济途径,但就该三类事项当事人意思自治的程度不同。

同法第4条第1款和第2款区分了该法下的强制性与非强制性规定。就强制性规定而言,即使当事人作出相反约定仍不影响其效力;而对于非强制性规定来说,则允许当事人约定排除适用。第67条、第68条是强制性条文,而第69条是非强制性条文,即当事人可约定排除第69条的适用,而不能自行约定排除第67条或第68条的适用。

需要注意的是,有些仲裁机构的仲裁条款中已经直接排除了第69条的适用,规定仲裁裁决是终局的,当事人不能上诉。因此,当事人如果约定仲裁,并且约定适用英国法,则需提前考虑是否需要在仲裁协议中约定排除双方就仲裁裁决进行上诉的权利。在选择仲裁机构的仲裁规则时,也要提前研读具体规则,确认其中是否有自动排除当事人上诉权利的条文。

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Originally published in Lexology September 6 2017 .

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The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

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