Parallel proceedings are an increasingly common feature of international arbitration. Anti-suit relief is a powerful though blunt instrument that has been developed to address abusive parallel proceedings. Anti-suit relief in the context of arbitration has evolved since its English court origins in Pena Copper, and is now deployed in a variety of contexts by courts and by arbitral tribunals. Nevertheless, the potential interference with ‘comity’ involved in granting anti-suit relief continues to generate controversy. In the EU law context, this controversy has played out in a series of cases addressing the interaction between anti-suit relief, arbitration, the New York Convention and the regime created by the Brussels Convention, Brussels Regulation and Brussels Regulation (Recast), including Marc Rich, Van Uden, Turner, West Tankers, Gazprom and now Achmea. Brexit will be the next big turning point in this saga, and uncertainty remains about the future of anti-suit relief post-Brexit.
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