The Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards Under the International Arbitration Act 15 of 2017

Author Marlene Wethmar-Lemmer

ISSN: 1996-2185 Affiliations: Associate Professor in Jurisprudence, University of South Africa, Pretoria. Source: South African Mercantile Law Journal, Volume 31 Issue 3, 2019, p. 378 – 398


The enactment of the International Arbitration Act has changed the international arbitration landscape in South Africa drastically. This new legislation has the potential to increase substantially the desirability of South Africa as an arbitral seat for international commercial arbitration matters. The Act incorporates the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration as well as the full text of the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. The New York Convention recently celebrated its 60th anniversary and its efficiency has been re-examined in academic commentary. In this article I seek to analyse the main provisions of the New York Convention as incorporated into the Act. I shall discuss recommendations for updating the Convention to serve the needs of modern international business transactions. I shall also highlight the most important provisions of the Model Law although they are not the main concern of this article.