Australia / 22 February 2011 / Australia, Federal Court of Australia / Uganda Telecom Ltd v. Hi-Tech Telecom Pty Ltd / NSD 171 of 2010
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|Court||Australia, Federal Court of Australia|
|Date||22 February 2011|
|Parties||Uganda Telecom Ltd v. Hi-Tech Telecom Pty Ltd|
|Case number||NSD 171 of 2010|
|Applicable NYC Provisions||V | V(1)(b) | V(2)(b)|
 FCA 131, online: AustLII
|Summary||Uganda Telecom Ltd (“UTL”), a Ugandan company, and Hi-Tech Telecom Pty Ltd (“Hi-Tech”), an Australian company, entered into an agreement for the supply by UTL of telecommunications services to Hi-Tech. A dispute arose and UTL initiated arbitration before an arbitrator appointed by the Centre for Arbitration and Dispute Resolution in Kampala, Uganda. The arbitrator found in favour of UTL. UTL sought enforcement of the award in the Federal Court of Australia pursuant to s 8(3) of the International Arbitration Act 1974 (Cth) (“the Act”) (providing for the enforcement in the Federal Court of NYC awards, as defined by the Act, as if the award were a judgment or order of that court). Hi-Tech resisted enforcement on the grounds that it had never been given proper notice of the arbitration and was otherwise unable to present its case in the arbitration proceeding (relying on s 8(5)(c) of the Act, implementing Article V(1)(b) NYC), and that the amount of damages awarded by the arbitrator was arrived at by an erroneous reasoning process involving mistakes of fact and law. The Federal Court granted enforcement. In dismissing the objection that the arbitrator’s reasoning was erroneous, the Court observed that s 8(5) of the Act (implementing Article V(1) NYC) did not permit a party to resist enforcement of an award on that ground. The Court also observed that it was not against public policy for a foreign award to be enforced without an examination by the Court of the correctness of the reasoning or the result reflected in the award. In this respect, the Court noted that the public policy ground for refusing to enforce an award under s 8(7)(b) of the Act (implementing Article V(2)(b) NYC) should be interpreted narrowly and was not the source of some general discretion to refuse enforcement. In its view, if there ever had been such a general discretion in the Court, following the 2010 amendments to the Act, it no longer remained. The Court ordered that the parties file and serve an agreed set of declarations, orders and directions designed to give effect to its reasons for judgment.|
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