Comparative Guides

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4. Results: Answers
International Arbitration
Enforcement of awards
Are awards enforced in your jurisdiction? Under what procedure?

Answer ... Arbitral awards, both foreign and domestic, must be declared enforceable by the German state courts in order to be executed within the German territory.

For domestic awards (issued in Germany), the enforcement procedure is set out in Section 1060 of the Code of Civil Procedure and requires an application by the award creditor to the higher regional courts. Enforcement must be denied if the award debtor can show the existence of any of the grounds for annulment set out in Section 1059, paragraph 2(1) of the Code of Civil Procedure; or if the state court, proprio motu, determines that any of the grounds for annulment as per Section 1059, paragraph 2(2) of the Code of Civil Procedure are present. The grounds for annulment must be disregarded if they have already been bindingly dismissed at the time the application for enforcement is made or, with respect to the grounds for annulment set out in Section 1059, paragraph 2(1) of the Code of Civil Procedure, if the timeframe for annulment has expired.

With respect to the enforcement of foreign awards (issued outside of Germany), the German Arbitration Act refers to the New York Convention. The enforcement of foreign awards is therefore directly governed by these provisions. Just as in the case of a German award, the party seeking to enforce the award must apply in writing to the state court for a declaration of enforceability. Unlike the New York Convention, however, German procedural law does not necessarily require a German translation of the award; nor is it necessary to submit the parties’ arbitration agreement. However, the state courts often request a translation of the award, which is why it can be helpful and expeditious to present it with the application for a declaration of enforceability.

The state court will declare an award enforceable after giving the opposing party the opportunity to be heard.

For more information about this answer please contact: Nicholas Kessler from Orrick
International Arbitration