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Effect of Arbitration Agreements

In maritime and admiralty matters, the parties to an action generally have the right to submit to arbitration.[i]  Agreements to submit controversies to arbitration are valid in admiralty actions.  Moreover, in admiralty:

  • an arbitration award could be given effect;
  • an executory arbitration agreement could be made a rule of court; and
  • a libel for damages would lie for breach of an executory arbitration agreement.

It is important to note that generally, admiralty courts lack power to grant equitable relief.  Therefore an executory arbitration agreement could not be enforced in admiralty by specific performance.[ii]


[i] American Sugar Refining Co. v. The Anaconda, 138 F.2d 765 (C.C.A. 5th Cir. 1943),

[ii] Red Cross Line v. Atlantic Fruit Co., 264 U.S. 109, 44 S. Ct. 274, 68 L. Ed. 582 (1924);

Inside Effect of Arbitration Agreements