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International Arbitration: Treaties

Text and Status of the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards

The New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards is a multilateral treaty that generally requires courts to enforce most arbitration awards made in foreign countries.

Like any other treaty, the New York Convention only applies to those countries that have agreed to be bound by it, through ratification, accession, approval, or acceptance. When agreeing to be bound by a treaty, countries may submit reservations (indicating that they do not agree to be bound by a specific part of the treaty) or declarations (short statements explaining how they interpret specific articles of the treaty.)

Like virtually all treaties, the New York Convention designates the United Nations as its depository- the organization responsible for keeping the text of the treaty and tracking which countries have signed, ratified, and made reservations to the treaty.

The U.N. publishes the full text of the New York Convention as part of the United Nations Treaty Series (U.N.T.S.):

U.N.T.S. also publishes each country's notifications of signatures, ratifications and other consents to be bound, and reservations and declarations:

For greater convenience, the U.N. also summarizes all of this information in Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General (MTDSG):

Because the U.S. is a party to the Convention, the text of the Convention is also published in the U.S.'s official treaty publication, United States Treaties and Other International Agreements (U.S.T.):

Under Bluebook Rule 21.4.5(a)(ii), the preferred citation is to the U.S.T., with the U.N.T.S. as an optional parallel citation.

Decisions, Travaux Préparatoires, and Other Materials About the New York Convention

In determining how to interpret an article of the New York Convention, you may consider: 

  • Decisions of courts and arbitral tribunals applying the Convention
  • Travaux préparatoires documenting how the Convention was drafted. Travaux préparatoires are roughly equivalent to legislative histories for statutes and are commonly used in interpreting treaties.
  • Books and articles about the Convention

By far the best collection of materials on the New York Convention is:

UNCITRAL also provides other, more basic access points to materials on the New York Convention:

Additional Arbitration Treaties

For a compilation of additional arbitration treaties, see: