This Country Answer reflects the state of the law as of 31 December 2012. Please refer to the explanations in the chapter entitled Preliminary Note.

A. The Contracting State and the New York Convention

1. Name of Contracting State (also specify jurisdiction(s), if relevant)

Algeria.

2. Date of entry into force of the New York Convention

8 May 1989.

(Source: Decree No. 88-233 of 5 Nov. 1988, published in Journal officiel de la République algérienne (JORA) No. 48 of 23 Nov. 1988, p. 1256.)

3. Has any reservation been made under Art. I(3) of the New York Convention regarding:

(a) reciprocity?

Algeria made a reciprocity reservation under the New York Convention. Consequently, the Convention only applies to recognition and enforcement of awards rendered in a Contracting State. However, the Algerian Code of Civil Procedure (ACCP) contains specific provisions on recognition and enforcement in Algeria of international awards (within the meaning of the Algerian legislation) rendered in the territory of another State, whether or not it is a Contracting State.

(Source: ACCP, Art. 458 bis 17 et seq.)

(b) commercial relationships?

Algeria made a reservation for commercial relationships. Therefore, the Convention only applies to disputes arising out of legal relationships, whether contractual or not, that are considered commercial under the national law.

4. In addition to arbitral awards made in the territory of another State, the New York Convention (Art. I(1)) also applies to arbitral awards not considered as domestic awards in the State where recognition and enforcement are sought. Are there any awards rendered in your country that are not considered as domestic awards such that the New York Convention and the answers to this Questionnaire are applicable to them?

Yes, awards rendered in Algeria that relate to international commerce and where at least one of the parties is resident or has its registered address abroad are considered as international arbitration awards. Therefore, unless otherwise indicated, the answers to this Questionnaire apply to both awards rendered outside Algeria and awards rendered in Algeria that satisfy the above-mentioned conditions. In the answers to this Questionnaire, the term 'foreign awards' refers to both kinds of awards.

(Source: ACCP, Art. 458 bis and 458 bis 25, introduced by Legislative Decree No. 93-03 of 25 Apr. 1993, published in JORA No. 27 of 27 Apr. 93 p. 42.)

B. National sources of law

5. What specific sources of law are applicable to recognition and enforcement of foreign awards (e.g. statutes, regulations, codes, directives, other legal instruments)?

(i) Constitution, Art. 132: Treaties ratified by the President of the Republic in accordance with the conditions laid down in the Constitution take precedence over statute law.

(Source: JORA No. 76 of 8 Nov. 1996 modified by law 02-03 of 10 Apr. 2002 published in JORA No. 25 of 14 Apr. 2002.)

(ii) Ordinance No. 66-154 of 8 June 1966, relating to the Code of Civil Procedure, as subsequently modified.

(Source: JORA No. 47 of 9 May 1966, p. 454.)

(iii) Law No. 88-18 of 12 July 1988 relating to accession (with reservations) to the New York Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, adopted by the United Nations Conference in New York on 10 June 1958.

(Source: JORA No. 28 of 13 Jul. 1988, p. 771.)

(iv) Decree No. 88-233 of 5 November 1988 relating to accession (with reservations) to the New York Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, adopted by the United Nations Conference in New York on 10 June 1958.

(Source: JORA No. 48 of 23 Nov. 1988, p. 1256.)

(v) Legislative Decree No. 93-09 of 25 April 1993 modifying and completing Ordinance No. 66-154 of 8 June 1966 relating to the Code of Civil Procedure.

(Source: JORA No. 57 of 27 Apr. 1993, p. 42.)

(vi) judge-made law. Judge made law is considered as a secondary source of law. However, its concrete utility is limited due to the limited number of decisions made and published by the Supreme Court.

C. Limitation periods (time limits)

6.

(a) Is there a limitation period (time limit) applicable to the commencement of legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement of foreign awards?

There is no specific limitation period applicable to recognition and enforcement of foreign awards under Algerian law.

(b) If yes, what is the applicable limitation period (time limit) and when does it start running?

However, the ordinary limitation period (30 years) under the ACCP should also apply to recognition and enforcement of foreign awards.

(Source: ACCP, Art. 344.)

D. National courts and court proceedings

7. What authority or court has jurisdiction over recognition and enforcement of foreign awards?

Foreign awards are declared enforceable by: (i) president of the court in whose geographical jurisdiction in Algeria the award was rendered, or (ii) president of the court at the place of enforcement if the seat of the arbitration is outside Algerian territory.

(Source: ACCP, Art. 458 bis 20.)

8. What requirements, if any, must be met for the authority or court to accept jurisdiction over recognition and enforcement of foreign awards (e.g. domicile or assets of respondent in the jurisdiction, etc.)?

Pursuant to a general principle of law in Algeria, a legitimate interest is required, as for any judicial action. ACCP, Art. 458 bis 19 seems to allow only arbitrators or parties to submit a petition for exequatur. Legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement of foreign awards can be initiated in Algeria only if the foreign award is final in the country where it was made (see Q. 12 below).

9. Is the first decision granting or denying recognition and enforcement obtained through ex parte or inter partes proceedings?

The first decision granting or denying recognition and enforcement may be obtained through ex parte proceedings. The judge will simply check (i) that the award exists and (ii) that recognition of the award is not contrary to Algerian international public policy. Compared with the New York Convention, the 1993 Legislative Decree gives greater effectiveness to foreign awards. Recognition and enforcement can be refused only if there is an infringement of international Algerian policy as well as (as in the New York Convention) domestic public policy (which may be more extensive).

(Source: ACCP, Art. 458 bis 17 and 18.)

10.

(a) Is the first decision granting or denying recognition and enforcement subject to any form of appeal or recourse?

Decisions denying recognition and enforcement of an award are subject to appeal, as are decisions granting the enforcement of an award. The resulting decisions are subject to a second level of appeal to the Tribunal suprême (pourvoi en cassation).

(Sources: ACCP, Art. 458 bis 22, bis 23 and bis 28 and general principles of Algerian civil procedure.)

(b) How many levels of appeal or recourse are available against this decision?

There are two levels of recourse:

First level:

(i) A decision refusing recognition or enforcement of an award, whether made in Algeria or elsewhere, is always subject to appeal.

(Source: ACCP, Art. 458 bis 22.)

The appeal is brought before the court with appellate jurisdiction over the judge who decided the petition for exequatur. In theory, the appeal must be lodged within one (1) month following the date on which notice of the judge's decision is served. This time limit can be increased by a maximum of two months when the defendant's domicile is abroad. In practice, this rule only applies when recognition or enforcement is granted; if it is refused, an appeal by the claimant is subject to no time restriction (other than the ordinary limitation period of 30 years) since there is no notification to the claimant.

(Source: ACCP, Art. 458 bis 24 and 104.)

(ii) A decision granting recognition or enforcement of an award made outside Algeria is subject to appeal only in the following situations: a) if the tribunal has wrongly retained or rejected jurisdiction; b) if the arbitral tribunal has made its award in the absence of an arbitration agreement or on the basis of a agreement that is void or has expired; c) if the arbitral tribunal was irregularly composed or if the sole arbitrator was irregularly appointed; d) if the arbitral tribunal, when making its award, has not complied with the assignment it was given; e) if the arbitral tribunal has exceeded its jurisdiction when making its award or failed to consider one of the plaintiff's claims; f) if rights of due process and a fair hearing have been disregarded; g) if the arbitral tribunal has failed to state the reasons for the award, or if the reasons given are insufficient or contradictory; h) if recognition or enforcement is contrary to international public policy.

(Source: ACCP, Art. 458 bis 23.)

The appeal is brought before the court with appellate jurisdiction over the judge who granted recognition or enforcement. The appeal must be lodged within one (1) month following the date on which notice of the judge's decision is served. This time limit can be increased by a maximum of two months when the defendant's domicile is abroad.

(Source: ACCP, Art. 458 bis 24 and 104.)

(iii) A decision granting recognition or enforcement of an international award made in Algeria is not subject to appeal. However, such decisions may be subject to an application for annulment (pourvoi en cassation) on the same grounds as those listed in ACCP, Art. 458 bis 23 relating to the appeal of decisions granting recognition or enforcement of an award made outside Algeria.

(Source: ACCP, Art. 458 bis 25.)

The application for annulment is filed with the court of appeal at the place in Algeria where the arbitral award was made. This recourse is admissible as soon as the award has been made and must be exercised within one month of notification of the award bearing an enforcement order (except where extended when the other party's domicile is abroad).

(Source: ACCP, Art. 458 bis 26.)

Second level:

Court decisions on appeals or annulments, as above, are subject to a further application for annulment (cassation) before the Supreme Court (Tribunal suprême). Such applications must be lodged within two months from the date of notification of the court's decision.

(Source: ACCP, Art. 458 bis 28, 235 and 231.)

11. What is the earliest stage in legal proceedings for enforcement of foreign arbitral awards at which a party can obtain execution against assets (i.e. party actually obtains possession of assets as opposed to simply freezing assets)?

Execution against the debtor's assets can be obtained in Algeria only after the time limit for filing an application for appeal or for annulment has expired.

E. Evidence required

12.

(a) What evidence must be supplied for recognition and enforcement of foreign awards (e.g. arbitral award, contract containing arbitration clause, affidavits, witness statements, etc.)?

The following evidence must be supplied: (i) an original of the award and (ii) an original of the arbitration agreement or (iii) copies of these documents subject to the conditions required for ensuring their authenticity.

(Source: ACCP, Art. 458 bis 18.)

In practice, Algerian courts also require the production of a certificate testifying to the absence of any challenge (no objection or appeal), justifying that the award is final in the country where it was rendered.

(b) Is it necessary to provide the entire document or only certain parts (e.g. entire contract or only arbitration clause)?

The entire arbitral award is required. Reference to the 'arbitration agreement' in ACCP, Art. 458 bis seems to indicate that only the arbitration agreement itself (and not the entire contract in which it may be contained) is required. In practice, some judges require the production of the entire contract.

(c) Are originals or duly certified copies required?

Original or duly certified copies are accepted.

(Source: ACCP, Art. 458 bis.)

(d) How many originals or duly certified copies are required?

One.

(e) Does the authority or court keep the originals that are filed?

Judicial practice in Algeria allows parties to ask for any exhibits they have produced in the proceedings, including the award, to be returned.

13.

(a) Is it necessary to provide a translation of the documents supplied?

Algerian law has no specific provisions regarding the language in which these documents are to be produced. However, given the law on the generalization of the Arabic language, it may be assumed that documents not in Arabic must accompanied by an official Arabic translation.

(Source: Law No. 91.05 of 16 Jan. 1991, published in JORA No. 3, 16 Jan. 1991.)

(b) If yes, into what language?

Arabic.

(c) Is it necessary for the translations to be certified and, if yes, by whom (official or sworn translator, diplomatic or consular agent (of which country?) or some other person)?

The translations must be certified by a sworn translator. In practice, there is some toleration of non-certified translations.

(Sources: Ordinance No. 95-13 of 11 Mar. 1995 published in JORA No. 17, 29.03.1995 and Executive Decree No. 95-436 of 18 Dec. 1995 published in JORA No. 79, 20 Dec. 1995.)

(d) Is it necessary to provide a full translation of the documents or only a translation of certain parts (e.g. entire award or only part setting forth the decisions; entire contract or only arbitration clause)?

There are no specific provisions in this regard. In practice, it makes sense to submit a translation of the entire document in question.

F. Stay of enforcement

14.

(a) Can the authority or court stay legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement pending the outcome of an application to set aside or suspend the foreign award before the competent authority referred to in Art. V(1)(e) of the New York Convention?

The exequatur procedure can be instituted in Algeria only if the foreign award is final in the country where it was made (see Q. 12 above).

(b) On what other grounds, if any, can the authority or court stay legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement (e.g. forum non conveniens)?

In the event of criminal proceedings that may be linked to the case or the arbitral award.

(c) Is the granting of a stay of legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement conditional on the provision of security?

No.

G. Confidentiality

15.

(a) Do the documents filed in legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement form part of the public record? If yes, can any steps be taken to preserve the confidentiality of such documents?

Documents filed in these proceedings do not form part of the public record. They are accessible only by the judges, the parties' lawyers and court employees.

(b) If there are hearings on recognition and enforcement, are such hearings confidential? If not, can steps be taken to maintain the confidentiality of the legal proceedings?

Hearings in ex parte proceedings, such as exequatur, are private. Hearings in inter partes proceedings, such as appeals, annulments and cassation, are open to the public. Algerian law does not provide for the confidentiality of hearings or specific steps to maintain such confidentiality. In practice, it is possible to ask the president of the court to keep the names of the parties confidential.

(c) Are judgments on recognition and enforcement published? If yes, can steps be taken to remove the names of the parties or avoid publication of confidential information (such as business or State secrets)?

Decisions on recognition and enforcement are usually published and contain the names of the parties. It is possible to ask the president of the court to replace the names of the parties by their initials. There are no legal provisions or specific practice concerning the publication of information related to commercial or State secrets.

H. Other issues

16. When, if ever, can a party obtain recognition and enforcement of interim or partial foreign awards?

Only final awards are subject to recognition and enforcement. As a consequence, partial awards may be recognized and enforced if they are final, but there can be no recognition or enforcement of interim awards.

17. When, if ever, can a party obtain recognition and enforcement of non-monetary relief in foreign arbitral awards (e.g. order requiring a party to deliver up share certificates or other property)?

There are no restrictions on obtaining recognition and enforcement of awards granting non-monetary relief.

18. When, if ever, can a party obtain recognition and enforcement of only part of the relief granted in foreign awards?

Algerian judges are authorized to recognize and enforce (or refuse to recognize and enforce) only the full relief granted in foreign awards.

19. When, if ever, can a party obtain recognition and enforcement of foreign awards which have been set aside by the competent authority referred to in Art. V(1)(e) of the New York Convention?

Only final awards can be recognized and enforced in Algeria (see Q. 12 above). This precludes recognition and enforcement in Algeria of awards that have been set aside by the competent authority.

20. Are there any other procedural or practical requirements relating to recognition and enforcement of foreign awards which are worth mentioning (e.g. unusually high court costs, filing fees, stamp duties, obligation to post security as a condition for seeking recognition and enforcement, obligation to identify the assets that will be the object of enforcement, etc.)?

No.

Country Rapporteur:

Mehdi Haroun