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THE SPANISH CONSTITUTIONAL COURT UPHELDS ARBITRATION AWARDS IN FRONT OF JUDICIAL RULINGS
The Spanish Constitutional Court, in its Judgment of February 15, 2021, quashes judicial control of the merits of arbitration awards (notwithstanding the limits due to public order that the Law admits).
Hence, it reads that " in the reasoning of the contested judgment only its discrepancy is observed in the legal assessment that the arbitrator has made and, therefore, once again, it must be remembered that the annulment can only be referred to errors in proceeding , and cannot lead to a review of the application of substantive law by the arbitrators, that is, that arbitration awards are only liable to be annulled based on non-observance of the guarantees of the arbitral instance. We must also insist that a manifest and unreasonable, extension of the notion of public order as a reason for annulment of the award, beyond the limits defined by the fundamental rights, is a violation of section 24 of the Constitution. In addiion, the judges shall be prevented from reviewing the evidence produced before the arbitrators or the assessment of it. Bearing this in mind, it is manifestly unreasonable and clearly arbitrary to try to include in the notion of public order set forth by section 41 f) of the Arbitration Act what is a pure review of the assessment of the evidence by the arbitrator, because through this evidentiary review what is being operated is a true mutation of the action of annulment, which is an extreme and exceptional remedy that cannot be based on purely formal infractions, but should only serve to remedy situations of effective and real defenselessness or violations of fundamental rights or safeguard Spanish public order, which excludes that infractions of procedure, without material affectation of the rights or legal situation of the parties, can serve as an excuse to obtain the annulment of awards ".
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