Guimarães Court of Appeal | Annulment of the Arbitral Award| Factual Background of the Arbitral Award | Lack of motivation| International Public Policy of Portugal | Case #112
Case nr. 117/19.8YRGMR
When deciding a request to annul an arbitral award, the court judge is not allowed to scrutinize the merits of the decision, nor the evidence that was produced before the arbitral tribunal.
There is no violation of the principles of due process if the arbitral tribunal did not consider the evidences produced by one party as sufficient to reach the conclusion invoked by that party.
If the arbitral award states the points of fact and of law on which the final award is based, there is no lack of motivation that could entail the annulment of the award.
The arbitral award that directs both respondents to refund jointly and severally the claimant does not produce an outcome manifestly contrary to the principles of the international public policy of Portugal.
I. The scope of the special lawsuit aimed at annulling an arbitral award does not include the review of the evidence that might have been produced, nor does it include the assessment of any error of judgment or of the application of the law, such matters being the subject of the appeal to be lodged against the arbitral award.
II. The circumstance that the plaintiff expressed a different opinion, regarding the assessment made by the arbitral tribunal of the evidence that was presented to it, in which the plaintiff contends that the tribunal did not give due weight to some of the means of evidence and that it had disregarded the documentary and testimonial evidence presented before the tribunal, does not allow the state court to annul the arbitral award under Article 46, paragraph 3, al. a), ii) [of the Portuguese Arbitration Law]. This circumstance would neither entail a violation of the principle of equality of the parties, nor a disregard of the principle of due process.
III. The ground for annulment of the arbitral award provided for in Article 46(3)(a)(vi) of the LAV, which refers to the case where the award was rendered in violation of the requirements set out in Article 42(1) and (3), is equivalent to that ground to annul a court judgement, as set forth in Art. 615(1)(b) of the Code of Civil Procedure.
IV. If the arbitral award states the points of fact and of law on which the final award is based, the nullity provided for in Article 615(1)(b) of the CPC (failure to specify the grounds of fact and of law on which the decision is based) does not occur. In that case, there is no reason to annul the award on account of a lack of motivation.
V. The arbitral award containing an order to both respondents, respectively supplier and operator of the electricity distribution networks, to jointly and severally refund the claimant for the amount of EUR 2,410.50 that was unduly charged to the claimant, between September 2017 and June 2018, as a result of possible meter breakdowns, does not lead to a result manifestly incompatible with fundamental principles of international (or internal) public policy of the Portuguese State. This is so because of the specific legal framework applicable to the case at hand and because the joint obligations of suppliers and operators of the electricity sector networks occur in a number of circumstances related to the performance and development of the necessary diligences to provide the services in question.