Arbitration Awards will only be Set Aside in Rare Cases

On 9 May 2012, the Court of Appeal reversed the first instance decision of Saunders J in Pacific China Holdings Ltd v. Grand Pacific Holdings Ltd (2012) HKEC 645. Saunders J had set aside an arbitral award on grounds of procedural unfairness. The Court of Appeal concluded that there was no violation of due process, and set a very high threshold for the court to set aside an arbitral award. The judgment is helpful in providing some clarification on when the court should exercise its discretion in setting aside an arbitral award, and confirms that such cases will be rare.

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