On July 8, 2014, the arbitral tribunal formed under the guidance of the International Chamber of Commerce, and consisting of Mr. Rosell and Mr. Dregi, arbitrators, and of Mr. Grigera Naon, president, issued an award in Paris in the dispute between the French company FRANCE CABLES ET RADIO SA (FCR) and the REPUBLIC OF EQUATORIAL GUINEA.
On August 7, 2014, the REPUBLIC OF EQUATORIAL GUINEA filed an appeal seeking to overturn this award (file registered under no. RG 14/17200).
Via a brief filed on December 10, 2014, FCR asked the pre-trial judge to note that the arbitration is international, to enforce the award, and to order the REPUBLIC OF EQUATORIAL GUINEA to pay it the sum of 5,000 euros in application of Article 700 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
After the pre-trial hearing held on January 22, 2015, the REPUBLIC OF EQUATORIAL GUINEA filed, on January 27, 2015, a post-hearing brief wherein it sought rejection of the request to enforce the award on the grounds of estoppel.
On the post-hearing brief:
The hearing on the motion, initially set for January 15, 2015, we continued at the request of the REPUBLIC OF EQUATORIAL GUINEA's attorney. Via letter dated January 21, said attorney made it known that he would be unable to attend the January 22, 2015 hearing, and indicated that he would address the enforcement request;
The pre-trial judge did not solicit the REPUBLIC OF EQUATORIAL GUINEA's post-hearing brief, and it shall not be examined because, in addition to being irrelevant to this part of the proceedings, it cannot be mentioned as it was previously submitted to the court with respect to the merits of the request;
On the enforcement request:
Pursuant to Article 1504 of the Code of Civil Procedure: "An arbitration is international when international trade interests are at stake." This standard is satisfied by an arbitration pertaining to a dispute between the REPUBLIC OF EQUATORIAL GUINEA and the French company FCR over the former's promise to purchase the shares owned by the latter in a Guinean company's capital.
Article 1521 of the Code of Civil Procedure states that, once petitioned, a pre-trial judge can enforce the award.
Article 1514 of the same code states that: "An arbitral award shall be recognized or enforced in France if the party relying on it can prove its existence and if such recognition or enforcement is not manifestly contrary to international public policy." According to Article 1515, the existence of an award shall be proven by producing the original along with the arbitration agreement, or duly authenticated copies of these documents.
Finally, the last paragraph of Article 1517 states that only an order rejecting enforcement of an arbitral award shall state the reasons upon which it is based.
Given that the documents required by the aforementioned provisions of Article 1515 of the Code of Civil Procedure have been submitted, the enforcement is granted.
There is no reason to apply Article 700 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
FOR THESE REASONS:
We hereby state that the award issued between the parties on July 8, 2014 is hereby enforceable.
We state that the original of the enforceable award, as well as that of the arbitration agreement, shall be filed with the court's clerk so they can remain attached to the minutes.
We reject any other request.
We state that the expenses associated with the motion shall follow the court's rulings when adjudicating the substantive claims.
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