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Supreme Court of Canada affirms the enforcement of international arbitration awards

Date Closed

December 11, 2019

Lead Office


In International Air Transport Association v. Instrubel, N.V., 2019 SCC 61, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed Canadian law's encouragement of international arbitration as a means of dispute resolution. The Court affirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeal of Quebec, which allowed a Dutch company to enforce an international arbitral award against Iraqi assets held by the International Air Transport Association ("IATA"), headquartered in Montreal.

The Quebec courts had disagreed as to whether, under Quebec law, the arbitral award against Iraq could be enforced against IATA's accounts, when the funds in issue were apparently kept in a bank account in Switzerland. The Court of Appeal of Quebec held that it could be, and the Supreme Court of Canada agreed.

The Canada branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), a non-profit association which provides education and training in Alternative Dispute Resolution for its members, acted as intervener in this case.

McCarthy Tétrault LLP represented the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Canada) Inc. with a national team led by Simon V. Potter, Ad. E., that included Adam Goldenberg, Sandra Aigbinode Lange, Dominique Paiement and Chris Puskas.