Common law systems have a long tradition of protecting the substantive interest of contracting parties through the use of anti-suit injunctions . An anti-suit injunction is an order made by a court compelling a party not to commence or continue proceedings in another foreign court . Anti-suit injunction is deployed to protect an arbitral agreement . There may be occasions when the involvement of a national court is necessary in order to ensure the proper conduct of arbitration . One of such example is the use of an anti-suit injunction in the context of international arbitration . Through such an injunction, a party can be ordered not to pursue proceedings initiated in breach of an arbitration agreement. This is, in part, to hold the parties to their contractual agreement and also out of concern that those proceedings unless restrained could frustrate the on-going arbitration. The concern has always been that such tactical proceedings (usually termed “Torpedo actions”) are expensive and it leads to delay . As these torpedo actions are often brought in countries where the judicial process is slow and likely to favour a local litigant .
‘Traditionally, anti-suit injunction has been viewed in England as the primary means to deal with such tactical litigation’ . The Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) ruling in West Tankers case crippled the ability of English courts to grant an anti- suit injunction. This decision, although not unexpected was met with disappointment , as it removed one of the English Courts key weapon for ensuring compliance with arbitration clauses. The decision however was believed to have a profound effect on London as a venue for arbitration proceedings .
This essay will critically analyse the CJEU’s ruling on West Tanker’s case, bringing out the effect and problems it created in European Union particularly on Brussels 1 Regulation and International Arbitration. It will further analyse the steps taken by the...