‘1. An arbitration award, whether complete or partial, shall not acquire the force of res judicata unless it is a final award. It shall acquire that force from the date on which it is made.
2. However, where, in accordance with the agreement between the parties, an appeal may be made to a higher arbitration tribunal against a complete or partial final award, that award shall acquire the force of res judicata as from the date on which the time-limit for appealing expires or, if an appeal is lodged, from the date on which the decision is given in the appeal proceedings, if and in so far as that decision upholds the award appealed against.’
‘1. An action contesting (a) a final arbitration award, whether complete or partial, against which no appeal may be made to a higher arbitration tribunal or
(b) a final arbitration award, whether complete or partial, made on appeal to a higher arbitration tribunal may be brought only by way of an application for annulment or a request-civiel in accordance with the provisions of this section.
2. An application for annulment shall be made to the Rechtbank, at the registry of which the original of the award must be lodged pursuant to Article 1058(1).
3. A party may lodge an application for annulment as soon as the award has acquired the force of res judicata. The right to bring an action shall expire three months after the date of lodgement of the award at the registry of the Rechtbank. However, where the award, endorsed with an order for its enforcement, is served on the other party to the proceedings, that party may, notwithstanding the expiry of the period of three months referred to in the previous sentence, lodge an application for annulment within three months from the date of such service.
4. An application may be lodged for annulment of an interim arbitration award only together with the application for annulment of the complete or partial final arbitration award.
‘1. Annulment may be ordered only on one or more of the following grounds:
(a) there is no valid arbitration agreement;
(b) the arbitration tribunal has been constituted in breach of the applicable rules;
(c) the arbitration tribunal has failed to comply with its terms of reference;
(d) the award has not been signed or does not state the reasons on which it is based, contrary to the provisions of Article 1057;
(e) the award or the manner in which it has been made is contrary to public policy or accepted principles of morality.
4. An award may not be annulled on the ground referred to in paragraph 1(c) above if the party pleading that ground took part in the proceedings without raising it in those proceedings despite having been aware that the arbitration tribunal was failing to comply with its terms of reference.’
‘(1) To what extent is the ruling of the Court of Justice in Joined Cases C-430/93 and C-431/93 Nan Schijndel and Van Veen v SPF  ECR I-4705 applicable by analogy if, in a dispute concerning a private law agreement brought before arbitrators and not before the national courts, the parties make no reference to Article 85 of the EC Treaty and, according to the rules of national procedural law applicable to them, the arbitrators are not at liberty to apply those provisions of their own motion?
(2) If the court considers that an arbitration award is in fact contrary to Article 85 of the EC Treaty, must it, on that ground and notwithstanding the rules of Netherlands procedural law set out in paragraphs 4.2 and 4.4 above [according to which a party may claim annulment of an arbitration award only on a limited number of grounds, one ground being that an award is contrary to public policy, which generally does not cover the mere fact that through the terms or enforcement of an arbitration award no effect is given to a prohibition laid down by competition law], allow a claim for annulment of that award if the claim otherwise complies with statutory requirements ?
(3) Notwithstanding the rules of Netherlands procedural law set out in paragraph 4.5 above [according to which arbitrators must not go outside the ambit of disputes and must keep to their terms of reference], is the court also required to allow such a claim if the question of the applicability of Article 85 of the EC Treaty remained outside the ambit of the dispute in the arbitration proceedings and the arbitrators therefore made no determination in that regard ?
(4) Does Community law require the rules of Netherlands procedural law set out in paragraph 5.3 above [according to which an interim arbitration award that is in the nature of a final award acquires the force of res judicata and is open to appeal only within a period of three months following lodgement of the award at the registry of the Rechtbank] to be disapplied if this is necessary in order to examine, in proceedings for annulment of a subsequent arbitration award, whether an agreement which an interim arbitration award having the force of res judicata has held to be valid may nevertheless be void because it conflicts with Article 85 of the EC Treaty?
(5) Or, in a case such as that described in Question 4, is it necessary to refrain from applying the rule that, in so far as an interim arbitration award is in the nature of a final award, annulment of that award may not be sought simultaneously with that of the subsequent arbitration award?’
in answer to the questions referred to it by the Hoge Raad der Nederlanden by order of 21 March 1997, hereby rules:
1. A national court to which application is made for annulment of an arbitration award must grant that application if it considers that the award in question is in fact contrary to Article 85 of the EC Treaty (now Article 81 EC), where its domestic rules of procedure require it to grant an application for annulment founded on failure to observe national rules of public policy.
2. Community law does not require a national court to refrain from applying domestic rules of procedure according to which an interim arbitration award which is in the nature of a final award and in respect of which no application for annulment has been made within the prescribed time-limit acquires the force of res judicata and may no longer be called in question by a subsequent arbitration award, even if this is necessary in order to examine, in proceedings for annulment of a subsequent arbitration award, whether an agreement which the interim award held to be valid in law is nevertheless void under Article 85 of the Treaty.
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