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Type of Awards in Arbitration

Type of Awards
Type of Awards


Arbitral awards signify the culmination of the arbitral process, representing the final and binding decisions reached by arbitral tribunals. When parties include an arbitration agreement in their contract, they anticipate a conclusive resolution through an enforceable award. 

In the context of Indian law, the provisions outlined in Chapter VI of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 (hereafter referred to as the 1996 Arbitration Act) govern the formulation of arbitral awards and the conclusion of arbitral proceedings.

This chapter, in conjunction with Chapter VII (recourse against arbitral awards) and Chapters VIII (finality and enforcement of arbitral awards), delineates the framework for arbitral decision-making within India. 


Distinction Between Arbitral Awards Based on Seat

A notable aspect of the 1996 Arbitration Act is its differentiation between arbitral awards based on the seat of arbitration. Part I of the Act encompasses provisions concerning domestic arbitration and awards, while Part II addresses the enforcement of foreign awards. 

Specifically, Chapter I pertains to awards under the 1958 Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York Convention), while Chapter II addresses awards under the 1927 Convention on the Execution of Foreign Arbitral Awards. 

Understanding this distinction is crucial, as it impacts the procedural requirements and enforceability criteria for both domestic and foreign awards.

Types of Arbitral Awards

In an ideal scenario, an arbitral tribunal issues a single award that conclusively resolves all aspects of a dispute. However, the reality is nuanced, and parties may encounter multiple awards throughout the arbitration proceedings. A final award, for instance, may encompass decisions on multiple claims, offering a comprehensive resolution to the dispute at hand.

Classification of Awards

  1. Final Award: This award signifies the culmination of the arbitration process, addressing all issues raised in the claim. It represents the ultimate decision of the arbitral tribunal, binding on all parties involved.

  2. Provisional Award: The English Arbitration Act 1996 introduces the concept of provisional awards, which address specific issues pending a final resolution. These awards offer interim relief while awaiting the conclusive decision.

  3. Partial Award: A partial award pertains to decisions on specific issues of the claim before a final award is rendered. It provides a targeted resolution to discrete aspects of the dispute, contributing to procedural efficiency.

  4. Interim Award: Arbitral tribunals have the authority to issue interim awards, addressing matters requiring immediate attention during the arbitration process. These awards serve as provisional decisions, guiding proceedings until a final resolution is reached.

Specialized Award Mechanisms

  1. Fast Track Procedure Awards: Introduced by the 2015 Amendment to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, this mechanism enables expedited arbitration proceedings for swift dispute resolution. It involves streamlined procedures, emphasising written submissions and minimising oral hearings.

  2. Consent Award (Award on Agreed Terms): Parties may opt for a consent award to formalise settlements reached outside formal arbitration proceedings. Section 30 of the 1996 Arbitration Act encourages settlement and provides a framework for recording agreements in the form of consent awards.

  3. Additional Award: In scenarios where the final award requires clarification or supplementation, arbitral tribunals may issue additional awards. These awards rectify errors, interpret ambiguous provisions, or fill gaps left by the initial decision, ensuring completeness and clarity in the arbitration outcome.


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