On 17 January 2023, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
(Timor-Leste) became the 172nd state to
accede the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign
Arbitral Awards 1958 (the New York Convention).
This accession follows Timor-Leste’s approval of a new legal
regime of Voluntary Arbitration, as approved by its National
Parliament on 31 March 2021.
The New York Convention will enter into force for Timor-Leste on
17 April 2023, as per Article XII (2).
This will be a welcome development for Timor-Leste as foreign
investors previously had to rely on Timorese procedural law for the
recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards. As a result of its
accession, Timor-Leste’s courts will be required to recognise
and enforce awards made by other states and give effect to
arbitration agreements. This is particularly noteworthy given
Timor-Leste’s relations with significant trading states such as
Australia, Singapore, US, Japan and Canada, which are also party to
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