Understanding International Arbitration
The arbitral award
1. An arbitral award is a private decision with public consequences
Fundamentally, an arbitral award is just a statement by one or more private individuals on how a dispute between two or more other private individuals should be resolved. In itself it has no more importance than a statement of opinion by any other private individual. What gives an arbitral award its legal importance is that governments around the world have decided that arbitration should be encouraged and supported, and that one effective way to do this is to let arbitral awards be enforced through the State’s legal system, just as happens with court judgments.