On June 3, 2020, the International Chamber of the Paris Court of Appeal rejected an annulment application brought against an arbitral award rendered by a Paris-seated ICC arbitration tribunal. The ICC tribunal on December 27, 2018 rendered an award in favor of the Iranian Natural Gas Storage Company (“NGSC”), in a dispute arising out of the termination of a contract for the conversion of a gas field.
The Court held that the ICC award at issue, which had allegedly failed to take into account the impact of US and international sanctions against Iran on the termination of the contract, did not violate the French conception of international public policy. The court also found that EU and UN sanctions constitute overriding mandatory rules that form part of international public policy, whereas US sanctions do not. This decision provides useful guidance on the potential impact of international sanctions on the validity and enforcement of arbitral awards.
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