A setback for arbitration
Yvonne Baatz, professor of maritime law and member of the Institute of Maritime Law, University of Southampton and Alexander Sandiforth, member of the Institute of Maritime Law, University of Southampton
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)
Gasser v Misat,
Case C-116/02  ECR I-14693 and Turner v Grovit,
Case C-159/02  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).
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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