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Commercial Arbitration

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Lebanon

Nayla Comair-Obeid and Ziad Obeid
Obeid Law Firm

    Infrastructure

  1. 1.The New York Convention
    Is your state a party to the New York Convention? Are there any noteworthy declarations or reservations?
    1. The Republic of Lebanon acceded to the New York Convention on 9 November 1998.

      Lebanon has made a reciprocity reservation under the New York Convention. The government of Lebanon has declared that it will apply the Convention, on the basis of reciprocity, to the recognition and enforcement of awards made only in the territory of another contracting state.

      Lebanese law is however more favourable to the recognition and enforcement of foreign awards than the New York Convention (article 814 of the Lebanese Code of Civil Procedure).

  2. 2.Other treaties
    Is your state a party to any other bilateral or multilateral treaties regarding the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards?
    1. The Republic of Lebanon ratified the Washington Convention on 26 March 2003 which entered into force on 25 April 2003 (see also Law No. 403 dated 5 June 2002). The Republic of Lebanon also ratified on 23 September 1988 the Arab Convention on Commercial Arbitration.

  3. 3.National law
    Is there an arbitration act or equivalent and, if so, is it based on the UNCITRAL Model Law? Does it apply to all arbitral proceedings with their seat in your jurisdiction?
    1. The Lebanese Code of Civil Procedure, which was enacted by Decree Law 90/83, with amendments resulting from Law No. 440 dated 29 July 2002, devotes an entire chapter (chapter 2) to arbitration with a distinction being made between domestic arbitration (articles 762 to 808 CCP) and international arbitration (articles 809 to 821 CCP).

      Pursuant to article 809 CCP, an arbitration is deemed international “when it involves the interests of international trade”. The criteria for determining whether an arbitration involves the interests of international trade is an economic one which involves movements of goods or funds beyond borders.

      In case of an international arbitration subject to Lebanese law, article 812 CCP provides that:

      “the provisions of articles 762 to 792 (relating to domestic arbitration) shall only apply in default of specific agreements and subject to the provisions of articles 810 and 811 (relating to international arbitration)”.

      The provisions of the Lebanese arbitration law are based on the old French arbitration law (Decrees No. 80-354 of 14 May 1980 and No. 81-500 of 12 May 1981). The provisions of the Lebanese arbitration law are not based on the UNCITRAL Model Law.

  4. 4.Arbitration bodies in your jurisdiction
    What arbitration bodies relevant to international arbitration are based within your jurisdiction? Do such bodies also act as appointing authorities?
    1. The arbitration bodies relevant to international arbitration in Lebanon are the following:

      • The Lebanese Arbitration Centre of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon, which was founded in 1995. The function of the Lebanese Arbitration Centre is to settle national and international disputes through arbitration or optional conciliation. The Centre has its own set of Rules of Conciliation and Arbitration.
      • The Lebanese National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce of Paris (ICC) to which the ICC Secretariat reverts in some cases to designate arbitrators.
      • The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, which operates in Lebanon through its local branch.

      These bodies can act as appointing authorities if so designated by the parties or upon the request of foreign arbitration institutions.

  5. 5.Foreign institutions
    Can foreign arbitral providers operate in your jurisdiction?
    1. Foreign arbitral providers can freely operate in Lebanon without any legal restrictions subject to undertaking the relevant registration formalities before the Lebanese authorities.

  6. 6.Courts
    Is there a specialist arbitration court? Is the judiciary in your jurisdiction generally familiar with the law and practice of international arbitration?
    1. Lebanon is considered as an arbitration friendly jurisdiction. The Lebanese legislation on arbitration is modern; it recognises all the principles which are well established in international arbitration. The judiciary in the Lebanese courts is also familiar with and supportive of the law and practice of international arbitration.

      There is no specialist arbitration court in Lebanon. The judiciary in the Court of First Instance is however considered as the “juge d’appui” (ie, the judge acting in support of arbitration). For example, the Court of First instance will hear requests for the appointment of arbitrators when the need arises, requests to summon recalcitrant witnesses who are within the jurisdiction of the Court of First instance, requests for exequatur of a foreign award etc.

      The current distribution of affairs among the Lebanese courts allocates arbitration matters to the following higher jurisdiction courts:

      • Chamber I of the competent Court of Appeal (which represents the second level of jurisdiction in Lebanon), hears actions brought by parties against an arbitral award (appeal, recourse for annulment, etc).
      • Chamber V of the competent Court of Cassation (which is the third and highest level of jurisdiction in Lebanon) ultimately hears subsequent actions against an arbitral award when such recourse is available to the parties.

      For the purposes of international arbitrations seated outside Lebanon, article 810 CCP provides that the Beirut courts will take the place of the court in which the foreign arbitration is seated, whenever necessary. As such, requests for exequatur of international awards seated outside Lebanon will be made to the president of the Beirut Court of First Instance (articles 815 and 793).

    Agreement to arbitrate

  7. 7.Formalities
    What, if any, requirements must be met if an arbitration agreement is to be valid and enforceable under the law of your jurisdiction? Can an arbitration agreement cover future disputes?
    1. In contrast with domestic arbitrations, there is no particular requirement for an international arbitration agreement to be valid other than the parties having consented to it.

      The written form for an arbitration agreement is only required to obtain the enforcement of the award (article 814, paragraph 2 CCP). Unlike domestic arbitration, the absence of a written form does not imply nullity of an international arbitration agreement.

      Article 810 CCP, which deals with international arbitrations, is not formulated in mandatory terms and provides that an arbitration agreement can designate directly or by reference, a set of arbitration rules, the arbitrator(s) or the method of their designation.

      Arbitration agreements can cover future disputes.

  8. 8.Arbitrability
    Are any types of dispute non-arbitrable? If so, which?
    1. The types of disputes which the Lebanese legislation considers as non-arbitrable and subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of state courts are the following:

      • Questions of personal status (age, nationality, adoption and genealogy); questions of social status (marriage and divorce); questions of capacity (capable minors and incapable majors). An exception is allowed by article 1037 of the Code of Obligations and Contracts (COC) allowing arbitration on the financial advantage resulting from a question of status or from a misdemeanour already dealt with by a court of law. In such a case, arbitration will cover the amount of compensation sought.
      • Non-negotiable personal rights such as the right to human dignity, the right to physical integrity, the right to privacy, the right to food (food allowance), etc. However, any dispute relating to monetary compensation in connection with any of these personal rights is capable of being the subject of arbitration.
      • Rights of succession. However, arbitration over acquired hereditary rights is possible if the value of such right is determined.
      • Questions of public policy which include all matters considered by law as guaranteeing social, economic or political interests.
      • Questions of insolvency. Article 490 of the Code of Commerce gives the state full jurisdiction in relation to questions arising from insolvency regulations. However, if an insolvent party has concluded an agreement to arbitrate with his associates in a limited partnership company, such agreement is valid.
      • Questions of employment contracts and social security. These issues fall under the exclusive competence of the state jurisdiction or of the Lebanese Labour Arbitration Board.
      • Contracts for commercial representation (article 5 of Decree Law No. 34 dated 5 August 1967; see Court of Cassation decision of 17/07/1997). However, there is a jurisprudential trend which makes a distinction between arbitration clauses in commercial representation contracts which are considered invalid and arbitration agreements concluded following the occurrence of the dispute (compromis d’arbitrage) which are deemed valid.
  9. 9.Third parties
    Can a third party be bound by an arbitration clause and, if so, in what circumstances? Can third parties participate in the arbitration process through joinder or a third-party notice?
    1. Under Lebanese law, a third party can be bound by an arbitration agreement in the following circumstances:

      • Universal successors and successors by a particular title (article 225 COC).
      • Subrogation (articles 313 and 315 COC)
      • Merger of companies (article 4, paragraph 1, Law 192 dated 4 January 1993)
      • Transfer of rights (article 285 of the COC)
      • Transfer of contracts (Beirut Court of Appeal, 3rd Chamber, decision No. 763 dated 2 April 2004, Beirut Court of Appeal, 10th Chamber, decision dated 28 December 2000 “Société UFFE v Companie de development des bâtiments et autres”).
      • Third-party beneficiary contracts (stipulation pour autrui, article 230 of the COC). This exception to the principle of non-transmittal of the arbitration clause to the third parties is, however, subject to doctrinal debate.

      A third party can also be bound by an arbitration agreement in light of the nature of the relationship that it has with one of the signatories to the arbitration clause:

      • In a chain of contracts which have the same objectives and which form an economic unity (opération économique unique).
      • In some cases of group of companies (See question 11 for more details).

      Concerning the joinder of a third party, article 786 CCP provides that third parties cannot be joined to an arbitration proceeding without the approval of the parties to the arbitration proceeding.

  10. 10.Consolidation
    Would an arbitral tribunal with its seat in your jurisdiction be able to consolidate separate arbitral proceedings under one or more contracts and, if so, in what circumstances?
    1. Lebanese legislation does not recognise the possibility for an arbitral tribunal with its seat in Lebanon to consolidate separate arbitral proceedings under one or more contracts unless the arbitration rules agreed upon by the parties allow such consolidation. By way of example, article 8 in Appendix II of the Rules of the Beirut Chamber of Commerce and Industry allows consolidation of claims.

  11. 11.

    Groups of companies
    Is the 'group of companies doctrine' recognised in your jurisdiction?

    1. The “group of companies doctrine” and piercing the corporate veil are not recognised as such under Lebanese Law. So far, there is also no direct jurisprudence in Lebanon dealing with this doctrine. However, Lebanese courts have on a number of occasions, when dealing with a chain of contracts, extended the arbitration clause in the main contract to other contracts in the chain by reference to the economic unity of the operation between them. There is a doctrinal view, that there is nothing preventing Lebanese courts from extending such analysis to a group of companies.

  12. 12.Separability
    Are arbitration clauses considered separable from the main contract?
    1. The principle of separability of the arbitration agreement from the main contract is a well-established principle in Lebanon.

  13. 13.Competence-competence
    Is the principle of competence-competence recognised in your jurisdiction? Can a party to an arbitration ask the courts to determine an issue relating to the tribunal’s jurisdiction and competence?
    1. Article 785 of the CCP expressly recognises the principle of competence-competence. Therefore, if a party challenges the jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal before a local court, the latter will declare itself incompetent to determine the issue.

      Any request submitted to the Lebanese courts to determine an issue relating to the arbitral tribunal’s jurisdiction and competence will be dismissed based on article 785 CCP (Decision of the Court of Cassation, 5th Chamber, No. 160, dated 16/10/2003)

  14. 14.Drafting
    Are there particular issues to note when drafting an arbitration clause where your jurisdiction will be the seat of arbitration or the place where enforcement of an award will be sought?
    1. Although not mandatory, it is preferable to designate the number of arbitrators and their method of designation, the seat and the language of the arbitration.

      In contracts with the Lebanese state or other public law entities it is recommended to systematically obtain a prior authorisation regarding the arbitration clauses inserted in such agreements. For contracts with the state, such authorisation should be obtained from the Lebanese Council of Ministers upon a recommendation of the relevant minister. For contracts with public law entities, such authorisation should be obtained from the relevant regulatory authority (autorite de tutelle).

  15. 15.Institutional arbitration
    Is institutional international arbitration more or less common than ad hoc international arbitration? Are the UNCITRAL Rules commonly used in ad hoc international arbitrations in your jurisdiction?
    1. There are no published statistics on institutional versus ad hoc arbitration in Lebanon. In our experience, institutional international arbitration is more common than ad hoc international arbitration in Lebanon. The UNCITRAL Rules are generally used in ad hoc international arbitrations. It should be noted that arbitration ex aequo et bono is most commonly used in Lebanon in local arbitration.

  16. 16.Multi-party agreements
    What, if any, are the particular points to note when drafting a multi-party arbitration agreement with your jurisdiction in mind? In relation to, for example, the appointment of arbitrators.
    1. When drafting a multi-party arbitration agreement, the parties should avoid the situation in which each party nominates an arbitrator resulting in an even number of arbitrators.

      The parties should also ensure that the principle of equality of the parties in the appointment of arbitrators is maintained when drafting a multi-party arbitration agreement. In a recent decision dated 19/10/2010, the Mount Lebanon Court of Appeal held that it is not possible to force three respondent parties to choose one arbitrator, as long as they have independent moral and financial personalities and interests. The Court of Appeal affirmed that the principle of equality of the parties in the appointment of arbitrators is a fundamental principle in arbitration which concerns public policy and can only be waived after the dispute has arisen.

    Commencing the arbitration

  17. 17.Request for arbitration
    How are arbitral proceedings commenced in your jurisdiction? Are there any key provisions under the arbitration laws of your jurisdiction relating to limitation periods of which the parties should be aware?
    1. Subject to the specific provisions of the arbitration clause to which the parties agreed (including the choice of arbitration rules, if any), in international arbitration the claimant will typically start the arbitration process by the filing of a request or notice of arbitration. As a matter of Lebanese law, the arbitral process effectively starts upon the constitution of the arbitral tribunal (article 773 CCP) and acceptance by the last arbitrator of its mission.

      There is no specific limitation period under Lebanese law for the filing of a request for arbitration. At all times, the parties should, of course, adhere to the terms of their arbitration clause which may require them to follow certain mandatory steps prior to referring their dispute to arbitration (amicable settlement negotiations, adjudication, notarial notice, etc).

    Choice of law

  18. 18.Choice of law
    How is the substantive law of the dispute determined? Where the substantive law is unclear, how will a tribunal determine what it should be?
    1. The arbitrator will determine the substantive law of the dispute in accordance with the provisions of article 813 CCP which provides as follows: “the arbitrator settles the dispute according to the rules of law chosen by the parties, and in the absence of such a choice according to those which he deems appropriate. In all these cases, he will take into account the custom and usage of commerce”.

    Appointing the tribunal

  19. 19.Choice of arbitrators
    Does the law of your jurisdiction place any limitations in respect of a party’s choice of arbitrator?
    1. Lebanese law does not place any limitation as to the choice of the arbitrator. Article 768 CCP provides, however, that an arbitrator must be a natural person and must have full capacity to exercise his or her civil rights and must not be insolvent.

  20. 20.Foreign arbitrators
    Can non-nationals act as arbitrators where the seat is in your jurisdiction or hearings are held there? Is this subject to any immigration or other requirements?
    1. There is no limitation as to the nationality of the persons who can act as arbitrators where the seat of arbitration is in Lebanon or where hearings are held in Lebanon. Some foreign nationals could be subject to visa requirements to enter Lebanese territory.

  21. 21.Default appointment of arbitrators
    How are arbitrators appointed where no nomination is made by a party or parties or the selection mechanism fails for any reason? Do the courts have any role to play?
    1. Pursuant to article 810 CCP, the parties may designate in their arbitration agreement the arbitrators or provide for the mechanism for their designation either directly or by reference to arbitration rules.

      In the absence of an agreed set of institutional rules containing a default mechanism for the constitution of an arbitral tribunal or an express default mechanism in the arbitration clause itself, the most diligent party, when faced with a difficulty in constituting the arbitral tribunal, may apply to the president of the competent Court of First Instance requesting him to make the appointment in accordance with the provisions of article 810 CCP.

  22. 22.Immunity
    Are arbitrators afforded immunity from suit under the law of your jurisdiction and, if so, in what terms?
    1. As a matter of Lebanese law, arbitrators are not afforded immunity from suit. In practice, to our knowledge, no such suit has ever been filed against an arbitrator in Lebanon.

  23. 23.Securing payment of fees
    Can arbitrators secure payment of their fees in your jurisdiction? Are there fundholding services provided by relevant institutions?
    1. There are no fundholding services in Lebanon to secure the payment of the fees of arbitrators. However, in case of non-payment of an arbitrator’s fees in an ad hoc arbitration, it is open to an arbitrator to make a payment request before the Enforcement Department of the competent Lebanese court.

    Challenges to arbitrators

  24. 24.Grounds of challenge
    On what grounds may a party challenge an arbitrator? How are challenges dealt with in the courts or (as applicable) the main arbitration institutions in your jurisdiction? Will the IBA Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest in International Arbitration generally be taken into account?
    1. Article 770 CCP provides that arbitrators may be challenged on the same grounds as judges for reasons which arise or become known after their appointment.

      The challenge should be brought before the Court of First Instance where the agreed place of arbitration is located or, failing that, the challenge can be brought before the Beirut Court of First Instance within fifteen days from the date the challenging party becomes aware of the arbitrator’s appointment or within fifteen days from the date that the reason for the challenge becomes apparent following the appointment of the arbitrator (article 770 CCP). The court’s decision on the challenge is final.

      To our knowledge, there are no Lebanese decisions in which the court applied or referred to the IBA Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest in International Arbitration when deciding on a challenge.

    Interim relief

  25. 25.

    Types of relief
    What main types of interim relief are available in respect of international arbitration and from whom (the tribunal or the courts)? Are anti-suit injunctions available where proceedings are brought elsewhere in breach of an arbitration agreement?

    1. Article 789 CCP grants arbitral tribunals the powers to order any interim or conservatory measures they consider necessary in light of the nature of the dispute and in accordance with article 589 of the CCP (such as installing seals, inventorising goods, impounding property, selling perishables and describing their condition, etc).

      Anti-suit injunctions are not available in Lebanon.

  26. 26.Security for costs
    Does the law of your jurisdiction allow a court or tribunal to order a party to provide security for costs?
    1. There is no Lebanese law provision which allows a Lebanese court or tribunal to order a party to provide security for costs. To our knowledge, no such provisional relief was raised before the Lebanese court.

    Procedure

  27. 27.

    Procedural rules
    Are there any mandatory rules in your jurisdiction that govern the conduct of the arbitration (eg, general duties of the tribunal and/or the parties)?

    1. As a matter of Lebanese Law, arbitration proceedings should be conducted in light of the guiding principles of civil cases such as the right of defence, due process and equal treatment of the parties. Arbitrators must also comply with the terms of their mission and international public policy rules. A failure to comply with these requirements may cause the award to be annulled pursuant to article 819 CCP.

  28. 28.Refusal to participate
    What is the applicable law (and prevailing practice) where a respondent fails to participate in an arbitration?
    1. Where a respondent, which was duly notified, fails to participate in arbitration proceedings, the arbitral tribunal, once constituted, will proceed with the case in the absence of the defaulting party and render its award on the basis of the claimant’s allegations and the arbitral tribunal’s assessment thereof.

  29. 29.Admissible evidence
    What types of evidence are usually admitted, and how is evidence usually taken? Will the IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Commercial Arbitration generally be taken into account?
    1. As a matter of Lebanese procedural law, all types of evidence are admitted (official deed, private deed, correspondence, admission, witness testimony, expert evidence). Article 779 CCP makes it clear that arbitrators can hear witnesses without requiring them to give evidence under oath. Article 780 CCP also gives the arbitral tribunal the power to order a party to disclose evidence in its possession.

      The IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Commercial Arbitration are generally taken into account if agreed upon by the parties (either directly or by reference to the applicable arbitration rules).

  30. 30.Court assistance
    Will the courts in your jurisdiction play any role in the obtaining of evidence?
    1. Article 779, paragraph 3 CCP, allows arbitrators to request the competent court to issue sanctions on witnesses who refuse to appear before the arbitral tribunal or refuse to cooperate.

  31. 31.Document production
    What is the relevant law and prevailing practice relating to document production in international arbitration in your jurisdiction?
    1. See question 29. Article 780 CCP provides the arbitral tribunal with the power to order a party to disclose evidence which is in its possession.

  32. 32.Hearings
    Is it mandatory to have a final hearing on the merits?
    1. It is a common practice in Lebanon to hold a final hearing on the merits unless the parties agree otherwise.

  33. 33.Seat or place of arbitration
    If your jurisdiction is selected as the seat of arbitration, may hearings and procedural meetings be conducted elsewhere?
    1. Yes. If Lebanon is selected as the seat of arbitration, hearings and procedural meetings can be conducted elsewhere.

    Award

  34. 34.Majority decisions
    Can the tribunal decide by majority?
    1. An arbitral tribunal can decide by majority (articles 788, 791 paragraph 2 CCP)

  35. 35.Limitations to awards and relief
    Are there any particular types of remedies or relief that an arbitral tribunal may not grant?
    1. There are no restrictions in Lebanon as to the types of remedies or relief that an arbitral tribunal may grant.

  36. 36.Dissenting arbitrators
    Are dissenting opinions permitted under the law of your jurisdiction? If so, are they common in practice?
    1. Dissenting opinions are permitted under Lebanese law even though they are not common in practice. Article 791, paragraph 2, of the CCP provides that in case an arbitrator refuses to sign an award, the remaining arbitrators are required to state so in the award, but the award will have the same legal effect as if it was signed by all arbitrators (articles 788, 791 paragraph 2 CCP).

  37. 37.Formalities
    What, if any, are the legal and formal requirements for a valid and enforceable award?
    1. Article 790 of the CCP provides that the arbitral award should contain:

      • the name of the arbitrator(s);
      • the date and place of the award;
      • the full names and denominations of the parties and their legal counsel;
      • a summary of the parties’ positions and the evidence provided in support of their respective positions; and
      • the reasons for the award and the dispositive part.
  38. 38.Time frames
    What time limits, if any, should parties be aware of in respect of an award? In particular, do any time limits govern the interpretation and correction of an award?
    1. Article 773 CCP which applies to arbitrations subject to Lebanese procedural law provides that the arbitrators should complete their mission within 6 months from the date of acceptance of the last arbitrator of his mission, when the time limit for the arbitral tribunal to render its award is not specified by the parties.

      Article 792 CCP (paragraphs 2 and 3) provides that the arbitrator has the competence to interpret and correct the arbitral award from any material errors or omissions affecting the award and to complete the award in case he neglected to determine a head of claim.

      The law stresses that any interpretation, correction or completion of the award should be made by the arbitrator within the time limit fixed to settle the dispute. Once this deadline has elapsed, the court which would have been competent in the absence of an agreement to arbitrate will be empowered to deal with such requests for interpretation and correction.

    Costs and interest

  39. 39.

    Costs
    Are parties able to recover fees paid and costs incurred? Does the "loser pays" rule generally apply in your jurisdiction?

    1. The parties are able to recover fees paid and the reasonable costs incurred. It is usually left to the arbitral tribunal’s discretion to decide whether it will apply the “loser pays” rule.

  40. 40.Interest on the award
    Can interest be included on the principal claim and costs? Is there any mandatory or customary rate?
    1. Interest can be applied to the principal claim and costs. As matter of Lebanese law, the legal interest rate is of 9 per cent in civil and commercial matters (irrespective of the prevailing interest rate) unless otherwise agreed by the parties.

    Challenging awards

  41. 41.Grounds for appeal
    Are there any grounds on which an award may be appealed before the courts of your jurisdiction?
    1. Article 819 CCP provides that recourse of annulment against the decision granting recognition or enforcement of an international award is only possible in instances set out under article 817 CCP:

      • where the award has been rendered without an arbitration agreement or on the basis of an agreement which is null or void due to the expiry of the relevant time limit for rendering the award;
      • where the award has been rendered by arbitrators not appointed in accordance with the law;
      • where the arbitrators ruled without complying with the mission conferred upon them;
      • where the award has been delivered without due respect of rights of defence; and
      • where the award has violated a rule of international public policy.
  42. 42.Other grounds for challenge
    Are there any other bases on which an award may be challenged, and if so what?
    1. An international arbitration award cannot be challenged on other grounds.

  43. 43.Modifying an award
    Is it open to the parties to exclude by agreement any right of appeal or other recourse that the law of your jurisdiction may provide?
    1. In an international arbitration, the recourse for annulment of the arbitral award is of public order and cannot be excluded by parties’ agreement.

    Enforcement in your jurisdiction

  44. 44.Enforcement of set-aside awards
    Will an award that has been set aside by the courts in the seat of arbitration be enforced in your jurisdiction?
    1. Yes. An award rendered outside Lebanon, which is set aside at the seat of arbitration, may still be recognised and enforced in Lebanon (See Decision No. 98 of Lebanese Court of Cassation, Chamber No.5, dated 27/4/2006 reversing the decision of the Court of Appeal which, prior to this, refused to grant the exequatur and held that: “While the New York Convention did not exclude the role of the judge in the enforcing country, the Lebanese judge has the power to review the request for exequatur of an arbitral award rendered outside Lebanon according to Lebanese legislation, he also has the discretion to exercise his judgment on the grounds of annulment referred to in Lebanese legislation, notwithstanding any decision, rendered in the country where the award was issued, to dismiss the request for annulment, despite those grounds for annulment being the same[…]”. The Court of Cassation granted the exequatur and overturned the decision of the Court of Appeal dismissing inter alia contentions of the violation of public policy on the grounds that the award was rendered without deliberation.

      Therefore, the enforcement of set-aside awards emanating from foreign countries is not excluded in Lebanon since the local courts have the discretion to assess the annulment’s grounds when a request for recognition and exequatur of a foreign award is sought.

  45. 45.Trends
    What trends, if any, are suggested by recent enforcement decisions? What is the prevailing approach of the courts in this regard?
    1. Lebanese courts apply the rules of the New York Convention with respect to the enforcement of international arbitration awards. A Lebanese court will grant an international arbitration award Exequatur if such award does not manifestly violate international public policy (article 814 CCP). In practice, a Lebanese judge will also verify prior to granting the exequatur whether any of the annulment grounds set out under article 817 CCP are present or if the award covers matters which are inarbitrable as a matter of Lebanese law.

  46. 46.State immunity
    To what extent might a state or state entity successfully raise a defence of state or sovereign immunity at the enforcement stage?
    1. The concept of the state’s sovereign immunity from execution is recognised under Lebanese law and therefore can be raised as a defence at the enforcement stage.

      Article 860, paragraph 1, of the CCP stipulates that the assets of the state and public legal bodies cannot be seized.

      Article 860, paragraph 2, of the CPP stipulates that the assets of foreign states cannot be seized save for those which are subject to private law.

      In this regard, in a recent decision issued by the President of the Beirut Executive Bureau, the court held that an international organization acting in its capacity as a private party, in a private transaction, which does not relate to the execution of a public service, cannot avail itself from its immunity of execution. (President of the Beirut Executive Bureau, decision dated 18/7/2013).

    Further considerations

  47. 47.Confidentiality
    To what extent are arbitral proceedings in your jurisdiction confidential?
    1. As a matter of Lebanese law, there is no provision dealing with the confidentiality of arbitral proceedings. However, in practice, arbitral proceedings are considered confidential as long as no legal proceedings before the local courts are filed (request for the assistance of the judge of summary proceedings, recourse for annulment of the award, etc).

  48. 48.Evidence and pleadings
    What is the position relating to evidence produced and pleadings filed in the arbitration? Are these confidential? Is there any way that they might be relied on in other proceedings (whether arbitral or court proceedings)?
    1. Apart from the provisions relating to confidentiality, as set out in certain institutional rules to which the parties might have agreed, there are no provisions in Lebanese law dealing with this issue. However, in practice, the evidence and pleadings filed in an arbitration are deemed confidential. Save where the evidence produced and pleadings filed are publically available, they can be used in other proceedings only with the relevant party’s consent or if the court or tribunal makes an order for disclosure.

  49. 49.Ethical codes
    What ethical codes and other professional standards, if any, apply to counsel and arbitrators conducting proceedings in your jurisdiction?
    1. The codes of ethics of the Lebanese bar associations apply to counsel qualified in Lebanon. In international proceedings, arbitrators are bound by the applicable international professional standards and ethical codes, among others the IBA Rules of Ethics for International Arbitrators.

  50. 50.Procedural expectations
    Are there any particular procedural expectations or assumptions of which counsel or arbitrators participating in an international arbitration with its seat in your jurisdiction should be aware?
    1. No. As noted in question 29, witnesses in arbitration are not required to give evidence under oath.

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GAR know-how provides reliable cross-jurisdictional insight to help cement the building blocks of international practice. In this section, select experienced practitioners answer commonly asked questions for key jurisdictions so allowing readers to be better-placed to solve the challenges of their working days.

Questions

    Infrastructure

  1. 1.The New York Convention
    Is your state a party to the New York Convention? Are there any noteworthy declarations or reservations?
  2. 2.Other treaties
    Is your state a party to any other bilateral or multilateral treaties regarding the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards?
  3. 3.National law
    Is there an arbitration act or equivalent and, if so, is it based on the UNCITRAL Model Law? Does it apply to all arbitral proceedings with their seat in your jurisdiction?
  4. 4.Arbitration bodies in your jurisdiction
    What arbitration bodies relevant to international arbitration are based within your jurisdiction? Do such bodies also act as appointing authorities?
  5. 5.Foreign institutions
    Can foreign arbitral providers operate in your jurisdiction?
  6. 6.Courts
    Is there a specialist arbitration court? Is the judiciary in your jurisdiction generally familiar with the law and practice of international arbitration?
  7. Agreement to arbitrate

  8. 7.Formalities
    What, if any, requirements must be met if an arbitration agreement is to be valid and enforceable under the law of your jurisdiction? Can an arbitration agreement cover future disputes?
  9. 8.Arbitrability
    Are any types of dispute non-arbitrable? If so, which?
  10. 9.Third parties
    Can a third party be bound by an arbitration clause and, if so, in what circumstances? Can third parties participate in the arbitration process through joinder or a third-party notice?
  11. 10.Consolidation
    Would an arbitral tribunal with its seat in your jurisdiction be able to consolidate separate arbitral proceedings under one or more contracts and, if so, in what circumstances?
  12. 11.

    Groups of companies
    Is the 'group of companies doctrine' recognised in your jurisdiction?


  13. 12.Separability
    Are arbitration clauses considered separable from the main contract?
  14. 13.Competence-competence
    Is the principle of competence-competence recognised in your jurisdiction? Can a party to an arbitration ask the courts to determine an issue relating to the tribunal’s jurisdiction and competence?
  15. 14.Drafting
    Are there particular issues to note when drafting an arbitration clause where your jurisdiction will be the seat of arbitration or the place where enforcement of an award will be sought?
  16. 15.Institutional arbitration
    Is institutional international arbitration more or less common than ad hoc international arbitration? Are the UNCITRAL Rules commonly used in ad hoc international arbitrations in your jurisdiction?
  17. 16.Multi-party agreements
    What, if any, are the particular points to note when drafting a multi-party arbitration agreement with your jurisdiction in mind? In relation to, for example, the appointment of arbitrators.
  18. Commencing the arbitration

  19. 17.Request for arbitration
    How are arbitral proceedings commenced in your jurisdiction? Are there any key provisions under the arbitration laws of your jurisdiction relating to limitation periods of which the parties should be aware?
  20. Choice of law

  21. 18.Choice of law
    How is the substantive law of the dispute determined? Where the substantive law is unclear, how will a tribunal determine what it should be?
  22. Appointing the tribunal

  23. 19.Choice of arbitrators
    Does the law of your jurisdiction place any limitations in respect of a party’s choice of arbitrator?
  24. 20.Foreign arbitrators
    Can non-nationals act as arbitrators where the seat is in your jurisdiction or hearings are held there? Is this subject to any immigration or other requirements?
  25. 21.Default appointment of arbitrators
    How are arbitrators appointed where no nomination is made by a party or parties or the selection mechanism fails for any reason? Do the courts have any role to play?
  26. 22.Immunity
    Are arbitrators afforded immunity from suit under the law of your jurisdiction and, if so, in what terms?
  27. 23.Securing payment of fees
    Can arbitrators secure payment of their fees in your jurisdiction? Are there fundholding services provided by relevant institutions?
  28. Challenges to arbitrators

  29. 24.Grounds of challenge
    On what grounds may a party challenge an arbitrator? How are challenges dealt with in the courts or (as applicable) the main arbitration institutions in your jurisdiction? Will the IBA Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest in International Arbitration generally be taken into account?
  30. Interim relief

  31. 25.

    Types of relief
    What main types of interim relief are available in respect of international arbitration and from whom (the tribunal or the courts)? Are anti-suit injunctions available where proceedings are brought elsewhere in breach of an arbitration agreement?


  32. 26.Security for costs
    Does the law of your jurisdiction allow a court or tribunal to order a party to provide security for costs?
  33. Procedure

  34. 27.

    Procedural rules
    Are there any mandatory rules in your jurisdiction that govern the conduct of the arbitration (eg, general duties of the tribunal and/or the parties)?


  35. 28.Refusal to participate
    What is the applicable law (and prevailing practice) where a respondent fails to participate in an arbitration?
  36. 29.Admissible evidence
    What types of evidence are usually admitted, and how is evidence usually taken? Will the IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Commercial Arbitration generally be taken into account?
  37. 30.Court assistance
    Will the courts in your jurisdiction play any role in the obtaining of evidence?
  38. 31.Document production
    What is the relevant law and prevailing practice relating to document production in international arbitration in your jurisdiction?
  39. 32.Hearings
    Is it mandatory to have a final hearing on the merits?
  40. 33.Seat or place of arbitration
    If your jurisdiction is selected as the seat of arbitration, may hearings and procedural meetings be conducted elsewhere?
  41. Award

  42. 34.Majority decisions
    Can the tribunal decide by majority?
  43. 35.Limitations to awards and relief
    Are there any particular types of remedies or relief that an arbitral tribunal may not grant?
  44. 36.Dissenting arbitrators
    Are dissenting opinions permitted under the law of your jurisdiction? If so, are they common in practice?
  45. 37.Formalities
    What, if any, are the legal and formal requirements for a valid and enforceable award?
  46. 38.Time frames
    What time limits, if any, should parties be aware of in respect of an award? In particular, do any time limits govern the interpretation and correction of an award?
  47. Costs and interest

  48. 39.

    Costs
    Are parties able to recover fees paid and costs incurred? Does the "loser pays" rule generally apply in your jurisdiction?


  49. 40.Interest on the award
    Can interest be included on the principal claim and costs? Is there any mandatory or customary rate?
  50. Challenging awards

  51. 41.Grounds for appeal
    Are there any grounds on which an award may be appealed before the courts of your jurisdiction?
  52. 42.Other grounds for challenge
    Are there any other bases on which an award may be challenged, and if so what?
  53. 43.Modifying an award
    Is it open to the parties to exclude by agreement any right of appeal or other recourse that the law of your jurisdiction may provide?
  54. Enforcement in your jurisdiction

  55. 44.Enforcement of set-aside awards
    Will an award that has been set aside by the courts in the seat of arbitration be enforced in your jurisdiction?
  56. 45.Trends
    What trends, if any, are suggested by recent enforcement decisions? What is the prevailing approach of the courts in this regard?
  57. 46.State immunity
    To what extent might a state or state entity successfully raise a defence of state or sovereign immunity at the enforcement stage?
  58. Further considerations

  59. 47.Confidentiality
    To what extent are arbitral proceedings in your jurisdiction confidential?
  60. 48.Evidence and pleadings
    What is the position relating to evidence produced and pleadings filed in the arbitration? Are these confidential? Is there any way that they might be relied on in other proceedings (whether arbitral or court proceedings)?
  61. 49.Ethical codes
    What ethical codes and other professional standards, if any, apply to counsel and arbitrators conducting proceedings in your jurisdiction?
  62. 50.Procedural expectations
    Are there any particular procedural expectations or assumptions of which counsel or arbitrators participating in an international arbitration with its seat in your jurisdiction should be aware?