Res Judicata in International Arbitration: To What Extent Does an Arbitral Award Prevent the Re-Litigation of Issues?

Güneş B. S.

Transnational Dispute Management, vol.12, no.6, 2015 (Refereed Journals of Other Institutions)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Title of Journal : Transnational Dispute Management


The res judicata effect of an arbitral award is of paramount importance in international arbitration since parties to a dispute predominantly choose arbitration to obtain a final and binding resolution to their existing or potential disputes. Nevertheless, there is limited guidance for arbitrators on how to respond to such issues. Even though one might think to apply national res judicata provisions, they are not only divergent but also litigation-specific. Thus, they are not able to provide ideal solutions to the problems arising in international arbitration. One of the issues that remains unclear in this respect is the scope of this effect. Therefore, this paper focuses on the applicability of issue preclusion to international arbitral awards. The central hypothesis outlined here is that arbitral awards should be given issue preclusive effects on an international basis subject to certain exceptions for the reasons of finality, procedural efficiency and consistency.