Mark G. Materna

Document Type



This article proposes that, despite the West Tankers decision, parties are still not free to breach the terms of an arbitration agreement. On the contrary, there has been a strong trend by English courts to find ways of preventing parties from breaching such agreements. In short, this article serves to quell the panic and elucidate that the West Tankers decision is not a nail in the coffin, but rather a mechanism to reiterate European courts' dedication to ensuring that arbitration provisions remain a potent force against economic infidelity. Part II of this article will provide a brief background of anti-suit injunctions and the West Tankers decision in the context of EU Arbitration. Part III will outline reactions to this decision and pay particular attention to commentary that illustrates trepidation regarding the future of arbitration agreements in Europe. Part IV will reveal why these fears are overplayed by analyzing two relevant English court decisions, their implications on both micro and macro levels, and why the present system of EU arbitration will remain unchanged. Though such measures are likely premature, Part V discusses some proposals aimed at bypassing a system where anti-suit injunctions are nonexistent. Part VI advocates a fresh perspective reframing West Tankers as a catalyst to understanding the bright future of EU arbitration. Finally, Part VII offers a conclusion reiterating the reality of this supposed crisis.