On appeal from:  [2009] EWCA Civ 755

Concerned whether the Government of Pakistan was a party to and bound by an arbitration agreement, so that an award made by an arbitral tribunal under that agreement can be enforced against the Government of Pakistan in the UK. The Supreme Court unanimously dismissed the appeal, holding that the Government was not a party to the arbitration agreement. The Supreme Court, while recognising that a tribunal has jurisdiction to determine its own jurisdiction for its own purposes, held that a court, whether within the country where the tribunal is located or within a foreign country where an attempt is made to enforce the award, can and must revisit the question of jurisdiction. The arbitral tribunal could only have jurisdiction by consent, and could not give itself jurisdiction, if there was no relevant consent under the applicable law. Whether consent exists is an issue subject to ordinary judicial determination. The Court held that the Government had established that there was no such common intention to make it a party to the agreement.

For judgment, please download: [2010] UKSC 46
For the Court’s press summary, please download: Press Summary
For a non-PDF version of the judgment, please visit: BAILII