Petroleum Arbitration Agreement in Iraq: A Tortoise and Hare Race

in Arab Law Quarterly
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Trustworthy and effective arbitration is a vital guarantee for foreign investors in the petroleum sector, especially those seeking to invest in post-conflict countries such as Iraq. This article is an evaluation of petroleum arbitration agreements in Iraq, which has not yet promulgated a basic arbitration law, let alone for international investment disputes, nor is it is a party to the New York Convention of 1958 or a member of International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes. It examines the use of legislation concerning arbitration agreements, and argues that the relevant provisions are satisfactory for everyday domestic arbitration, but are inadequate in dealing with international commercial disputes, such as over petroleum. Therefore, it is critical, if Iraq is to be able properly to manage the exploitation of her petroleum resources, and her investor relations, that the legal framework is improved. The author makes recommendations on what is needed.




Emmanuel Gaillard and John Savage (eds.), Fouchard Gaillard Goldman on International Commercial Arbitration (Alphen aan den Rijn: Kluwer Law International, 1999), 261; Margaret L. Moses, The Principles and Practice of International Commercial Arbitration (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 18.


Moses, supra note 1 at 21.


Article 26 of Iraqi Civil Law No. 40 of 1951.


Gaillard and Savage (eds.), supra note 1 at 261; Moses, supra note 1 at 18.


Wang Houli, ‘Sovereign Immunity: Chinese Views and Practices’, Journal of Chinese Law 1(1) (1987): 23-32.


Georges R. Delaume, ‘State Contracts and Transnational Arbitration’, The American Journal of International Law 75(4) (1981): 784-819; Gary B. Sullivan, ‘Implicit Waiver of Sovereign Immunity by Consent to Arbitration: Territorial Scope and Procedural’, Texas International Law Journal 18 (1983): 329-345 (Comment).


Article 96 of Iraqi Civil Law No. 40 of 1951.


Article 133 of Iraqi Civil Law No. 40 of 1951.


Andrew Tweeddale and Keren Tweeddale, Arbitration of Commercial Disputes: International and English Law and Practice (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), 130.


Hans Van Houtte, The Law of International Trade (London: Sweet and Maxwell, 1995), 389; W. Laurence Craig, William Park and Jan Paulsson, International Chamber of Commerce Arbitration (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 45.


Marna Lourens, ‘The Issue of ‘Arbitrability’ in Context of International Commercial Arbitration (Part1)’, South Africa Mercantile Law Journal 11(3) (1999): 363-383; Ilias Bantekas, ‘The Foundations of Arbitrability in International Commercial Arbitration’, Australian Year Book of International Law 27(1) (2008): 193-224.


Blackaby, supra note 17at 124.


Assad Fadell, The Provisions of Arbitration Agreement and Its Procedures: Comparative Study (El-Qadisiyah: Niebuhr Publications, 2011), 63 (in Arabic).


Born, supra note 24 at 426.


Blackaby, supra note 17 at 117.


Gaillard and Savage (eds.), supra note 1 at 210.


Reuben, supra note 41 at 56.


Moses, supra note 1 at 20.


Saleh Majid, ‘Arbitration in Iraq’, Arab Law Quarterly 19 (2004): 267-276.


Abdul Mounaam Faraj, Resources of Obligation (Beirut: Mostafa al-Halbee, 1960), 303. (in Arabic)


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