Legal Language Translation and the Importance of Being Specific in Arbitration Agreements

Legal Translation of Multilingual Arbitration Agreements

When drafting multilingual international arbitration agreements, it is essential that the practitioner be precise in specifying the name of an arbitral institution in a contract.

This is because some jurisdictions simply do not favor arbitration. For example, the Ukrainian courts will not consider arbitration unless clearly specified in the contract with a foreign language translation. In a recent case, a contract included a clause stating that “disputes shall be settled by the International Commercial Arbitration Court at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Kyiv”.

Although this seems quite clear, in fact there are two chambers in Kyiv and this clause failed to specify which one was being referred to. In most instances, a court would use the competence-competence doctrine and rule that the parties intended to use arbitration. However, in a jurisdiction not use to arbitration – such as the Ukraine – this is not so. In the Ukraine case, the court actually ruled that the parties didn’t intend for arbitration as they specified an institution that ‘does not exist’.

Contact our deposition interpretation and legal translation service to retain qualified interpreters for your arbitration in any foreign language.

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