Herald of Civil Procedure

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The Law Governing the Limitation Periods Applicable to Arbitral Awards

Gilles Cuniberti,
Ph.D (Panthéon-Sorbonne), LL.M. (Yale), Professor of Comparative Law and Private 
International Law at the University of Luxembourg

In the article, the author analyzes the timing limitation for enforcement of arbitration (arbitral) awards. Internationally, limitation periods to enforce arbitral awards vary dramatically. In the United States, it is only one or three years depending on the applicable legal regime. In France, it is 30 years. And in Ontario, there is no limitation period since 2002. In the common law world, the traditional rule was that limitation laws were procedural in character. As a consequence, they were governed by the law of the forum (lex fori). By contrast, in the civil law world, limitations laws are typically substantive in character. They are thus governed by the law governing the substance of the right which might have been extinguished. Expiry of limitation periods can either extinguish rights, or merely bar remedies. 

Keywords: limitation periods; comparative analysis; civil proceedings; arbitration (arbitral) proceedings; arbitral award; foreign judgement.


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Information about the author 

   Gilles Cuniberti (Luxembourg) – Ph.D (Panthéon-Sorbonne), LL.M. (Yale), Professor of Comparative Law and Private International Law at the University of Luxembourg (L-2721, Luxembourg, 4, rue Alphonse Weicker; e-mail: [email protected]).

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Gilles Cuniberti