Publication by Martin Pradel and Alexandre Reynaud in the Paris Journal of International Arbitration (Cahiers de l’Arbitrage)
TALMA partners Martin Pradel and Alexandre Reynaud published a note under the decision of the Paris Court of Appeal issued on 5 October 2021, rejecting a challenge against an arbitral award in favor of the Yemen Ministry of Oil & Minerals and the state company Yemen Oil & Gas Corporation.
The challenge was based on allegations of human rights norms and of international sanctions relating to the prevention of terrorist financing.
Summary: “On 5 October 2021, the Paris Court of Appeal rejected a challenge against an ICC award ordering the payment of certain sums to the Yemen Ministry of Oil & Minerals and the state company Yemen Oil & Gas Corporation. The challenge was mainly based on the argument that the enforcement of the award would breach international public policy as it would lead to payments being made to a State and an organization suspected to breach human rights norms and to finance terrorist organizations in breach of international sanctions. The Court rejects the arguments. First, the alleged violations of human rights have no link to the commercial transaction in dispute which lead to the award. Second, there is no evidence that the state of Yemen or the Ministry of Oil & Minerals would be under the control of terrorist groups targeted by international sanctions. This in this case, the first of this kind in front of the French courts, the argument was rejected in this instance, it remains to be seen whether this will become a trend for awards involving States and companies embroiled in controversies relating to human rights and prevention of terrorist financing.“