İş Kuleleri, Kule 3, Kat:2, 34330,
Levent / Istanbul, Turkey


T: +90 (212) 249 29 39

It is a known fact that arbitral awards are binding on the parties, just like the decisions taken in state courts. However, the ways in which parties can appeal these decisions are limited. Both the Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) and the International Arbitration Act (IAA) offer the sole option of filing an Annulment Case. However, there are certain limitations for these cases, and parties cannot file an annulment case for any reason outside of these limitations.
For many years, the Court of Cassation has been rejecting requests for annulment based on objections that were known during the arbitration process but were not raised during the arbitration process. The most notable here are the requests for annulment regarding the qualifications, independence, and impartiality of the arbitrator.

In its decision dated July 11, 2023, the 11th Civil Chamber of the Court of Cassation rejected an annulment case filed against the decision of a sole arbitrator appointed at the time who was not objected to, on the grounds that he did not know the law applicable to the merits of the case. In the said decision, the plaintiff (defendant in the arbitration case) requested the annulment of the decision on the grounds that the Azerbaijani sole  arbitrator appointed by the International Chamber of Commerce Court of Arbitration, despite knowing Turkish, did not know Turkish law and that it was therefore not correct for the dispute to be decided by an arbitrator who did not know Turkish law.

The Istanbul Regional Court of Appeal dismissed the case on the grounds that the claimant did not object to the appointment of the arbitrator and signed the power of attorney prepared by the sole arbitrator without objecting to the appointment of the arbitrator, despite the fact that the detailed curriculum vitae of the sole arbitrator was attached to the e-mail notifying the Court of the appointment of the sole arbitrator and the parties were reminded to notify the Secretariat of any objections to the sole arbitrator within 30 days of the notification (Art. 14(2) of the ICC Arbitration Rules).  The 11th Civil Chamber of the Court of Cassation upheld this decision.

These examples show the points that the parties need to pay attention to in the arbitration process and the limits of the right to file an annulment case. Parties need to be more careful about the appointment of arbitrators and the progress of the process and make the necessary objections in a timely and appropriate manner. Otherwise, they may face the rejection of their requests for annulment by the Court of Cassation and other authorities.