The Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards in the GCC Countries: Focus on Kuwait

Saad Badah


Kuwait is a member country of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). As with the other countries in the GCC, Sharia law informs its laws. The use of the New York Convention (NYC) to resolve disputes has come into conflict with Sharia law if the choice of law is from another system of laws. This means that Kuwait has followed the procedures of the NYC, under the principle of reciprocity, as the main ground for disqualifying enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in Kuwait.

The legislation and practices that guide the enforcement and recognition of foreign arbitral awards are not only limited to the international standards under the NYC and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law. The domestic laws adopt the international standards as well as incorporating the reservation clauses and the reciprocity aspects. The article also seeks to elucidate the grounds that do not inform the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards. These include procedural and substantive technicalities that arise from non-adherence to the law, the competency of the arbitrators, the legality of the arbitral awards, as well as other stipulations in the Code of Civil and Commercial Procedure (CCCP). This article examines the application of arbitral law in the Middle East and how effective this is in settling trade disputes. A broader perspective will also be taken as this article will consider the issues that have been associated with the application of arbitral law in preference to conservative land laws in the region.

The place of arbitral awards that are rendered abroad is also a focus of the article, as are the procedures and conditions that are considered in enforcing them in Kuwait. Arbitrability and non-arbitrability of foreign arbitral awards is also examined based mainly on the choice of law or where the arbitral award is from a country that does not enforce or recognise arbitral awards declared against it.

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International Law Research  ISSN 1927-5234  (Print)  ISSN 1927-5242  (Online)  Email:

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