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法院以当事人未能充分示明诉争裁决违法公共政策且超裁为由驳回其撤销执行裁定的申请(新加坡案例)

2020619日,在CDIv CDJ [2020] SGHC 118 一案,当事人CDJ主张诉争裁决与新加坡公共政策相抵触且内容含有对提交仲裁的范围以外事项的决定之情形,根据《示范法》36(1)(b)(ii)36(1)(a)(iii)申请撤销执行裁定。法院认为当事人并未能证明其遭受了实质或真实的偏见,亦未能证明裁决违反自然公正(程序正义natural justice)的公共政策且超越权限,因此,驳回其撤销执行裁定的申请。

一、案情介绍

201683日,本案原告CDI作为买受人向本案被告CDJ购买三艘船,双方签订协议备忘录(以下简称:MOA),并提及由CDJ指定的CFCDI的资金提供贷款,被告向原告收取船舶总价的10%335,000美元作为订金。

由于CDI未签署CF发出的第一份支付期限承诺函,20161114日,CF发出第二份支付期限承诺函,当事方接受了该函内容,CDICF订立贷款协议。

2017220日,CF通知CDI称其不再为CDI提供贷款。CDI认为,由于CF不再为其购买船舶提供资金,根据MOA11a/1b条,其有权解除MOA且得到订金退款。于是,2017323日,CDI要求CDJ归还保证金但遭到拒决。

2017424日,CDJCDI发送律师函主张依据MOA11条约定,由于买方的原因,CDJ有权解除MOA并不退还订金。

由于以上原因,CDI作为申请人提出仲裁。最终,裁决支持了CDI的主张,CDJ应向CDI支付335,000元美元,另裁决CDJCDI支付年息2%至实际支付至日止。

2019128日,执行裁定被送达当事人。1227日,CDJ提交传讯令状,申请撤销执行裁定。CDJ从以下两个方面对裁决提出异议:

1. 诉争仲裁裁决的承认执行违反新加坡公共政策; Pursuant to Article 36(1)(b)(ii) of the Model Law, recognition or enforcement of the Award would be contrary to the public policy of Singapore (the “Public Policy Objection”); and

2. 诉争裁决包含了对提交仲裁范围之外事项的决定;(Pursuant to Article 36(1) of the Model Law, the Award deals with matters not contemplated by, or not falling within, the terms of the  submission  to arbitration or contains  decisions on matters beyond the scope of the submission to arbitration (the “Scope of Submission Objection”).)

二、法院认定

首先,针对本案CDJ提出的裁决内容违反自然公正与公共政策相抵触这个抗辩理由,法院从法理角度出发,分析仲裁员未采纳缔约前协商的证据与仲裁员对事项的选择性审查,得出仲裁并未违反公共政策这个结论。具体理由如下

1. 仲裁员的决定在意料之中且可预见

法院认为,仲裁员的裁决在意料之中,且可以预见。仲裁员虽然未在裁决中明确说明,但已对贷款的发放时间进行分析,进而支持了CDI的主张认为不需要联系上下文解释MOA11a条。因此,法院认为,既不能说仲裁员的推理和结论不可预见或超过预期,亦无法得出仲裁员裁决方式不合理这个结论。(In my judgment, the Arbitrator’s reasoning was neither unforeseeable nor surprising. The Arbitrator’s analysis and conclusions on when the grant of the loan facilities took place and consequently, his finding that it was not necessary to consider a contextual interpretation of Clause 11(a), meant, in pith and substance, that the Arbitrator was agreeing with the Plaintiff’s primary position. This is so even if this may not have been that clearly articulated  by the Arbitrator in the Award.  It thus cannot be said,  in  my  view, that the Arbitrator’s reasoning or ultimate decision was unforeseeable or surprising or that the manner in which the decision was reached by the Arbitrator was irrational or capricious.

法院认为,尽管仲裁员可能未考虑缔约前的外在证据,也未请双方当事人就MOA15条的适用性及相关性出具意见,但仲裁员在裁决书中对上述问题的阐述并无明显的偏差。CDJ不能基于仲裁员未能考虑缔约前的外部证据而认为仲裁员的裁决无法预见。法院认为仲裁员的上述行为不违反自然公正。Whilst the Arbitrator may not have considered the precontractual extrinsic evidence or invited parties to submit on the applicability or relevance of Clause 15 of the MOA, the reasoning employed and decision reached by the Arbitrator in the Award on the decisive issue did not, in my view, involve any significant or dramatic departure from the partiessubmissions. To put its lightly differently, it could not be said by the Defendant to be  unforeseeable  orsurprising that the Arbitrator would agree or align himself with the Plaintiff departure of position,  and in  doing so,  find it unnecessary to consider pre-contractual extrinsic evidence in construing the words in Clause 11(a) of the MOA. In my view, that the Arbitrator did not call for submissions on the issue of admissibility of pre-contractual evidence or the applicability of Clause 15 of the MOA is, therefore, in and of itself insufficient to amount to a breach of natural justice that would warrant setting aside the Leave Order.

2. 仲裁员有权在不要求提交代理意见的情况下决定是否接受缔约前证据

法院认为,虽然CDJ称缔约前的外部证据是缔约的“先决和中心”,但其并未具体明确上述主张和合同的关联性,问题备忘录(以下称:MOICDJ的开庭陈词中也没有明确表明这点。CDJ只在最后陈述中提到了这个主张。法院参考CDJ的答辩后发现,其仅提到了缔约后的证据。 Despite the Defendant’s submission that pre-contractual extrinsic evidence was “front and centre” in the Arbitration, the relevance of pre-contractual  extrinsic  evidence  to  the  determination  of the decisive issue was notraised in the parties’ pleadings; it certainly did not feature in any of the Defendant’s pleadings. Nor was it expressly or clearly flagged in the Memorandum of Issues (“MOI”) or the Defendant’s Opening Statement. Arguments on pre-contractual extrinsic evidence only came into play in the parties’ closing submissions. With regard to the Defendant’s pleadings, MrKumarasingam referred me to paragraphs 10 and 11 of the Defendant’s Statement of Defence but those paragraphs refer, if at all, only to post-contractual as opposed to pre-contractual extrinsic evidence.

此外,法院认为,CDJ也未在对证人的交叉询问中提及上述问题。因此,法院认为,仲裁员有权在其推理中考虑MOA15条并得出结论,而无需请当事方提交意见。 The relevance (let alone any alleged centrality) of pre-contractual extrinsic evidence was not explained or highlighted by the Defendant in the Arbitration prior to its cross-examination of the Plaintiffs witness... As such, the Arbitrator was, in my judgment, entitled to consider Clause 15 of the MOA in his reasoning and come to a conclusion on it without first inviting submissions from the parties.

3. 诉争裁决第15条的潜在影响是双方可以预见的

法院认为,缔约前证据的可采性问题将构成仲裁员裁决过程的一部分。此问题关键是CDJ是否预期第15条对仲裁员决定可能有影响(如果有)。当事人或仲裁员均未将缔约前的外部证据或MOA15条的相关性作为决定性问题。

法院认为,仲裁员没有请双方就缔约前外在证据的可采性或MOA15条的效力提交意见,并不违反自然正义。因此,CDJ的异议理由不成立。 I find that there was no breach of natural justice occasioned by the Arbitrator in this case in not inviting submissions from the parties on the admissibility of pre-contractual extrinsic evidence or the effect of Clause 15 of the MOA. This ground of the Defendant’s objection therefore fails.

4. 诉争裁决不存在实际或真正的偏见

法院认为即使裁决违反自然公正CDJ的权益并未受损。(Even if I had been persuaded that there was a breach of natural justice, the Defendants objection would still fail as it would not be able to show that the Arbitrators decision caused its rights to be prejudiced.

法院认为,关于缔约前证据的可采纳性和MOA15条并不影响仲裁员对第11条的判断MOA11a)条的措词清晰明确,故仲裁员无需再考虑缔约前的外部证据。在实质上,仲裁员似乎已经优先考虑MOA11a)条的措词,并认为措词足够清楚。因此,即使仲裁员请当事人就有关缔约前外部证据的适用性提交意见,它也无法对仲裁员在决定性问题上的结论产生影响。(I also need not be satisfied that a different result would ensue had the Arbitrator received the benefit of submissions on Clause 15 of the MOA. On a close  reading   of  the  Award  as a whole, it is my view that any submissions on the admissibility of pre-contractual evidence and the impact of Clause 15 were unlikely to have had any impact on the decision of the Arbitrator on Clause 11(a) of the MOA and the words eading of the Award as a whole, it is my  view that any submissions on the admissibility of pre-contractual evidence and the impact of Clause 15 were unlikely to have had any impact on the decision of the Arbitrator on Clause 11(a) of ractual extrinsic evidence for context. I agree that in substance, the Arbitrator appeared to have given primacy to the text of the words in Clause 11(a) of the MOA and found the wording clear enough. Therefore,  even if the  Arbitrator  had  invited  submissions on the admissibility ofpre-contractual extrinsic evidence and such evidence was admitted, it could not reasonably  have made  any appreciable difference to the Arbitratornd the wording clear enough. Therefore,  even if the Arbitrator  had invited submissi of Defendant’s objection on this ground.)

就仲裁员对证据的选择性审查而言,虽然DCJ认为仲裁员没有考虑MOA11条中条款的相互关系,造成裁决违反自然公正,但其必须对此主张进行证明。(In order to conclude that a tribunal had failed to consider an important issue thus resulting in a breach of natural justice, the inference must be shown to be clude that a tribunal had fpableo)实际上,仲裁员已将注意力集中到这个条款上,且确实解决了裁决中各条款之间相互影响的问题。因此,CDJ的理由不成立。

综上,法院认为CDJ未能证明其主张,即未能证明基于对可能性的衡量,裁决违反自然公正原则,或证明执行裁决将违反新加坡的公共政策。仲裁员的裁决合理且公正。另外,法院认定,CDJ未能证明其遭受了任何真实或实际的偏见。因此,法院拒绝接受该异议理由。(For all of the reasons given above, I am of theview that the Defendant has failed to establish its case that, on the balance of probabilities, there was abreach of natural justice in the making  of the  Award or that by reason thereof, allowingthe Award to be enforced would be contrary to the public policy of Singapore. In my judgment, what was done by the Arbitrator in this case fellwith in the  range  of what a reasonable and fair-minded tribunal might  have done in  those circmstances. I also find that the Defendant has failed to establish  that any real or actual prejudice has been suffered by it.  I  therefore  reject this ground of the application accordingly.

其次,法院认为CDJ关于仲裁超越权限的主张没有任何事实上的依据,故驳回了CDJ的请求。( I find no merit in the Defendant been suffered  by it. I therefore reject this ground of CDJ

三、案评

《示范法》被新加坡《国际仲裁法》所吸收并被作为附表1写入《国际仲裁法》。关于仲裁的执行规定在第19条:依据仲裁协议作出的裁决,经高等法院或者法官许可,便可按执行相同效力的判决或裁定的方式执行,经许可,可就该裁决作出判决。因此,本案中经当事人一方申请,助理司法常务官依据本条规定签发了执行裁定。

裁决违反公共政策被法院拒绝承认和执行是《纽约公约》第5条第2款关于拒绝承认和执行的理由之一。《示范法》第36条和《国际商事仲裁法》第31条对此都有规定。当事人在新加坡法背景下援引上述理由拒绝执行裁决需要承担较高的举证责任。就本案而言,CDJ虽然主张裁决违反自然公正,但其并未明确且具体地指明缘由,也未有合理理由证明仲裁员违反上述原则,其主张的开头未对己方损害进行示明,正文未阐明其损害与仲裁员违反自然公正之间有因果关系,因此法院没有支持其主张。

CDJ的另一项主张涉及仲裁庭超越权限,与前文提及的公共政策不同,超越权限的举证责任应由主张方承担。从法院判决原文可以看出,当事人并未对此进行重点举证。因此,法院并未支持其主张。