Keywords:Arbitration Act 2005, international commercial arbitration, New York Convention 1958, recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards
Published on: 17 May 2021
In the recent two decades, the wave of globalisation has hit the Malaysian market. It hence contributes to the popularity of arbitration as the means to settle cross border commercial disputes. The existing literature concerned with Malaysia suggests that the recent trend in Malaysia is that arbitration has become the dominant choice of dispute resolution forum. Using qualitative and doctrinal methods, this paper seeks to analyse the regulatory framework for international commercial arbitration in Malaysia, before and after Malaysia’s accession to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, 1958 (hereinafter, NYC 1958). The NYC 1958 is one of the most successful international treaties with 161 contracting States. The NYC 1958 aims to promote uniform practical procedures for the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in its contracting States, irrespective seat of the awards. In doing so, the paper examines two significant periods of arbitration laws in Malaysia: pre and post-accession to the NYC 1958. The paper concludes that Malaysia no longer follows English arbitration legislation and instead follows international best practice by adopting the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (hereinafter, UML) as the basis of its modern legislation, the Arbitration Act 2005. Malaysian courts are also seen to adopt a positive ‘pro-enforcement’ attitude in the application to recognise and enforce foreign arbitral awards, in promoting maximum enforcement of awards as promoted by the NYC 1958 and the UML.