What happens if, after a judgment or arbitral award is released, a party to the proceedings discovers that the other side presented falsified documents at the hearing?
This can justifiably give rise to a great sense of injustice for an innocent losing party. In litigation, the innocent party can apply to have the judgment set aside on the grounds that it was obtained by fraud. In arbitration, the innocent party can seek to resist enforcement on the basis that it would be contrary to public policy or challenge the award on the basis that there has been a serious irregularity which has caused serious injustice. This briefing explores recent cases of the English courts where such applications have been made. These cases show that the applicant’s knowledge about the circumstances giving rise to the fraud at the time of the original hearing will be of key importance, as will the causal relevance of the fraud to the conclusion that had been reached in the original judgment or award.