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)

Israel.

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

7 June 1959.

(Source: New York Convention Execution Regulations (Foreign Arbitration) 1978 (Regulations Companion, 1978, 60 of Aug. 1978, p. 1894).)

3. Has any reservation been made under Art. 1(3) of the New York Convention regarding:

(a) reciprocity?

No.

(b) commercial relationships?

No.

4. In addition to arbitral awards made in the territory of another State, the New York Convention (Art. 1(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?

No.

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)?

The main sources of Israeli law applicable to recognition and enforcement of foreign awards are the following:

(i) Law of Arbitration 1968 (Israel Law, Vol. No. 535, 1968, p. 184); (ii) Arbitration Regulations for Due Process 1968 (Regulations Companion, 1969, No. 2326, 190 of Dec. 1968, p. 556); (iii) New York Convention Execution Regulations (Foreign Arbitration) 1978 (Regulations Companion, 1978, 60 of Aug. 1978, p. 1894).

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?

No.

(Sources: Law of Arbitration 1968, Art. 23; Arbitration Regulations for Due Process 1968, Art. 10.)

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

Although there is no limitation period applicable to requests for recognition and enforcement of a foreign award, Israeli courts may deny such request if filed many years after the award was rendered and the applicant waited too long to seek recognition and enforcement. They may consider this a violation of good faith as applied to procedural rights. In one case, recognition was denied when 30 years had passed between the date of the award and the filing of the request for recognition with the court. However, this case related to a request for recognition of a domestic award rather than a request pursuant to the New York Convention.

(Source: CPA Permission for Civil Appeal, The Major Synagogue 'Shore Halachot' v. Netania Municipality, 11 Sept. 2007 (Israeli High Court).)

D. National courts and court proceedings

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

Israel is divided into six districts, each comprising a District Court and Magistrate Courts. Each of the six District Courts is authorized to rule on matters concerning recognition and enforcement of foreign awards.

(Sources: Law of Arbitration 1968, Art. 1; Arbitration Regulations for Due Process 1968, Art. 8.)

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.)?

A District Court to which a request for recognition and enforcement of a foreign award is made will accept jurisdiction if one of the following alternative criteria is met: (i) the respondent's place of residence or employment lies within its jurisdiction; (ii) the place where the arbitration took place or was meant to take place lies within its jurisdiction; (iii) the place where the disputed incident first occurred lies within its jurisdiction; or (iv) the District in question was agreed upon by all the parties involved in the arbitration.

If any of these criteria cannot be met, the request must be filed with the Jerusalem District Court. The Jerusalem District Court may order that the proceedings be held before another court if this is more convenient for the parties.

(Source: Arbitration Regulations for Due Process 1968, Art. 3.)

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

The first decision is rendered after the respondent has been granted an opportunity to respond, i.e. through inter partes proceedings.

10.

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

Yes. An appeal against the first decision of a District Court can be filed with leave of the High Court.

(Sources: Law of Arbitration 1968, Art. 38; Law of the Courts 1957, para. 19(b).)

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

There is only one level of appeal, to the High Court.

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)?

In the request for recognition and enforcement, the requesting party may ask the District Court to seize the respondent's property, block the respondent's right to leave the country or require the respondent to guarantee compliance with the award. Once the arbitral award has been recognized, the seizures can be executed.

(Source: Law of Arbitration 1968, Art. 29.)

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.)?

(i) The original award legally validated in accordance with Israeli law or a certified copy and (ii) the original arbitration agreement or a copy certified in accordance with Israeli law.

(Source: New York Convention Execution Regulations (Foreign Arbitration) 1978, Art. 3.)

In addition, a request for recognition and enforcement must be accompanied by an affidavit.

(Sources: New York Convention Execution Regulations (Foreign Arbitration) 1978, Art. 5; Arbitration Regulations for Due Process 1968, Art. 2; Civil Regulations for Due Process 1984, Art. 241.).

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

The entire documents must be provided.

(c) Are originals or duly certified copies required?

Duly certified copies are admissible.

(Source: New York Convention Execution Regulations (Foreign Arbitration) 1978, Art. 3.)

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

The number of copies required is equal to the number of all applicants and respondents plus a copy for the court.

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

The court usually keeps the originals. Accordingly, it is recommended that duly certified documents be filed instead.

13.

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

Yes, if the documents supplied are not in one of Hebrew, English, French or Arabic.

(Source: New York Convention Execution Regulations (Foreign Arbitration) 1978, Art. 3(b).)

(b) If yes, into what language?

Hebrew, English, French or Arabic.

(Source: New York Convention Execution Regulations (Foreign Arbitration) 1978, Art. 3(b).)

(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 translation must be certified by a person legally entitled to verify translations in accordance with Israeli law, or by a consular or diplomatic agent.

(Source: New York Convention Execution Regulations (Foreign Arbitration) 1978, Art. 3(b).)

(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)?

A full translation is required.

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?

Yes. If the respondent files evidence to show that setting aside proceedings are pending in the country where the award was rendered, the court will tend to stay the legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement until a final decision is rendered in the other proceedings.

(Source: New York Convention Execution Regulations (Foreign Arbitration) 1978, Art. 4.)

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

An Israeli court denied a request to recognize a foreign award on the ground of forum non conveniens in light of the following factors: the dispute had been resolved in New York, it related to property in the United States, the arbitration agreement had been signed in New York, the petitioners were US citizens and residents and the award was made by arbitrators residing in New York. An appeal against this decision was denied by the Supreme Court.

(Source: RFCA 2017/94.)

In addition, Israeli courts are required to consider staying legal proceeding under the Bankruptcy Order when there is evidence that a request for bankruptcy has been filed in court. However, the position is not entirely clear because the Bankruptcy Order deals only with requests for bankruptcy filed in Israel under the Israeli Bankruptcy Order.

(Sources: New York Convention Execution Regulations (Foreign Arbitration) 1978, Art. 5; Arbitration Regulations for Due Process 1968, Art. 2; Bankruptcy Order (New Version) 1980, Art. 22.)

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

The issue of security is left to the discretion of the court.

(Source: New York Convention Execution Regulations (Foreign Arbitration) 1978, Art. 4.)

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?

Yes. Every person has a general right to review court files, provided there is no legal prohibition from doing so. It is possible to request the court to preserve the confidentiality of a specific court file. In deciding on such a request, the court will consider the interests of the applicant and the parties as well as the interests of those who may wish to obtain access to the court file.

(Source: The Court and Tribunal Regulation (Discernible Files) 1983.)

(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 connection with requests for recognition and enforcement of foreign awards are not confidential. The court may decide to hold hearings in camera (i) where there are national security concerns or (ii) to prevent jeopardizing the country's foreign relations.

(Source: Israeli Courts Law 1984, Art. 68.)

(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)?

Judgments from hearings held in camera cannot be published without the permission of the court. As a general matter, the court may forbid publication of a judgment whenever it deems it appropriate in order to protect the safety and/or privacy of a litigant, witness or any other person (including a mentally disabled person).

(Source: Israeli Courts Law 1984, Art. 70.)

The court may also take steps to preserve confidentiality by deleting the names of the parties and other sensitive information from a judgment.

(Source: The Court and Tribunal Regulation (Discernible Files) 1983.)

H. Other issues

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

There is no clear legal authority on this question. However, it appears that it may be possible to obtain recognition and enforcement of interim or partial foreign awards provided that such awards are final.

(Sources: Law of Arbitration 1968, Art. 1; Decision of the Israeli District Court, RFA 34/87, 50/87.)

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)?

Recognition and enforcement of non-monetary relief in foreign arbitral awards is possible provided that the decision can be implemented and does not contravene public welfare or the rules of natural justice. The court has discretion in examining these conditions and will also consider other conditions specified in the New York Convention.

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

This matter is left to the discretion of the court. Although in certain cases part of the relief may be separated if it contravenes public welfare, such separation may not be possible without undermining the entire arbitral award and its purpose. In such cases, the court may refuse recognition and enforcement of only part of the award.

In addition, the court may consider other fundamental considerations of good faith and validity in deciding on recognition and enforcement of a foreign award.

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?

If a foreign arbitral award is set aside by the competent authority, the court will most likely deny recognition and enforcement.

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.)?

As an alternative to seeking enforcement under the New York Convention, a party may seek to enforce a foreign award under the Foreign Awards Enforcement Law 1958. The provisions and procedure under this statute are more complicated than under the New York Convention.

Although legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement of foreign awards in Israel under the New York Convention are generally straightforward, they may become complicated if a request has been made to set aside the award or new points of law are raised.

On 15 February 2012, the Israeli Supreme Court decided that when a request for recognition and enforcement pursuant to the New York Convention is filed with an Israeli court the respondent may apply for the award to be set aside within 15 days of being notified of the request.

(Source: case no. 4320/11, published in the Nevo legal database, www.nevo.co.il.)

Country Rapporteur:

Ronen Setty