The Doctrine of Res Judicata of an International Arbitral Awards

Abodunrin Oluwafikewa 43 PAGES (13423 WORDS) Dissertation
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Every legal order recognizes the need for finality of disputes and it is commonly

known as Res Judicata1

. This principle exists in all jurisdictions and it is aimed at

putting an end to the adjudication of disputes. Some writers suggest it is rooted in

public policy and others take the view as not taking the second bite at the cherry2

, this

principle is important to dispute resolution. Dispute resolution can take many forms

such as litigation, to alternative forms among which is arbitration. The needs of

parties inform the mode of dispute resolution chosen but in recent years the move has

been towards arbitration especially in resolving international transaction disputes. It

has risen to be the preferred mode of dispute resolution not only between parties but

between nations and nations and individuals.

This is due to a number of factors, which includes the ability to choose the law

governing the dispute, the seat, arbitral institution (if one is to be used), arbitrators

and a range of other decisions that shape the procedural makeup and practical conduct

of the arbitration. Arbitration is distinct from other modes of dispute resolution

because of its advantages and the legal force and effect it carries in law. One of such

is the New York Convention 157 countries of the world are signatories to. A

successful convention with the objective of obliging states to recognize arbitration

agreement to the recognition of such resulting awards in any country signatory to it.

However, it is silent on the principle of res judicata. The principle is left at the mercy

of individual nations.

This paper will seek to discuss the Res Judicata principle as a settled doctrine in law

recognized in most jurisdictions and how the recognition of the doctrine in

international arbitration with a global harmonized approach can further help to

reinforce the objectives of the Convention. The paper will shed light on how the

English law applies the doctrine to International Arbitration as one of the leading law

system and place in settling international arbitral disputes.

The International Law Recommendations on Res Judicata in International commercial

arbitration will be analyzed on the impact it has had on international arbitration.

The paper is divided into 4(four) chapters. Chapter 1 will discuss International dispute

processes by focusing on arbitration as the most preferred method of dispute process

with empirical data and explore the reasons behind its recent use some of which are;

the neutrality of the dispute resolution forum, confidentiality, ability to select

arbitrators and enforceability and finality of an arbitral award. Chapter 2 will give a

background to the doctrine, its features, the recognition of the doctrine by the

International Law Association and its recommendations considering the impact it has

made. Thereafter, the New York Convention, its objectives and the absence of the

doctrine in it will be discussed. Chapter 3 will focus primarily on how English law

applies res judicata to International commercial arbitration and the analysis of caselaw on the principle.

Chapter 4 will contain recommendations on how this doctrine can be flexibly applied

to solve issues of parallel arbitrations, and conclude on the need for an international

restatement of the principle to benefit the objectives of the Convention. 

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Abodunrin, O (2019). The Doctrine of Res Judicata of an International Arbitral Awards. Retrieved February 29, 2020, from

MLA 8th

Oluwafikewa, Abodunrin. "The Doctrine of Res Judicata of an International Arbitral Awards", 13 Jun. 2019, . Accessed 29 Feb. 2020.


Oluwafikewa, Abodunrin. "The Doctrine of Res Judicata of an International Arbitral Awards".,, 13 Jun. 2019. Web. 29 Feb. 2020. < >.


Oluwafikewa, Abodunrin. "The Doctrine of Res Judicata of an International Arbitral Awards" (2019). Accessed February 29, 2020.