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A setback for arbitration

Lloyd's Shipping & Trade Law

A setback for arbitration

The English courts can no longer grant an anti-suit injunction to restrain a party from commencing or pursuing court proceedings in an EC member state or Lugano Contracting State. That they could not do so to restrain a breach of an exclusive English court jurisdiction agreement has been clear for some time as a result of the decisions of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Gasser v Misat, Case C-116/02 [2003] ECR I-14693 and Turner v Grovit, Case C-159/02 [2004] ECR I-3565. The English court had, however, continued to grant such injunctions where the proceedings were in breach of an arbitration clause, 1 on the basis that arbitration proceedings fall outside the scope of the Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (the ‘EC Jurisdiction Regulation’) as they are excluded by art 1(2)(d). 2 In Allianz SpA (formerly Riunione Adriatica di Sicurta SpA) v West Tankers Inc (The Front Comor), Case C-185/07 the ECJ has held that such an injunction is not consistent with the EC Jurisdiction Regulation.

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