The New York Convention: A Self-Executing Treaty

The thesis of this Article is that uncertainty regarding the Convention’s status as a self-executing treaty of the United States is unwarranted and unfortunate. Instead, both the Convention’s provisions for recognition and enforcement of arbitration agreements (in Article II) and of arbitral awards (in Articles III, IV, V, and VI) should be regarded as self-executing and directly applicable in U.S. (and other national) courts. As discussed in detail below, this is because Article II establishes mandatory, complete, and comprehensive substantive rules, directed specifically to national courts, for the recognition and enforcement of international arbitration agreements. Likewise, the history and purposes of the Convention, the language and legislative history of Chapter 2 of the Federal Arbitration Act (the “FAA” or “Act”), and the practices of other Contracting States support the conclusion that Article II is directly applicable in American courts.