Arbitration, as a method for resolving disputes outside traditional courtrooms, is lauded for its efficiency and flexibility. Yet, its effectiveness often hinges on the ability to provide interim relief swiftly. In this article, we’ll delve into the significance, types, legal basis, criteria, procedures, challenges, and impact of interim relief granted by arbitral tribunals.

What is Interim Relief?

Interim relief serves as a crucial lifeline within the realm of arbitration, offering temporary measures that act as a safeguard during ongoing dispute resolution processes. These measures aim to ensure the preservation of rights, prevent irreversible harm, and uphold the existing state of affairs until a final resolution is reached. In essence, it’s akin to a pause button in the arbitration process, providing parties with the necessary breathing space to address urgent matters or prevent irreversible damage while the case progresses towards a final decision.

In practical terms, interim relief could take various forms, such as injunctions, orders for specific performance, asset freezing orders, or temporary restraining orders. These measures are typically granted based on the urgency and seriousness of the situation, ensuring that parties involved in arbitration aren’t left vulnerable or disadvantaged while awaiting the conclusive judgment.

Moreover, interim relief isn’t an alternative to the final resolution but acts as a necessary step to maintain fairness and equity during the arbitration proceedings. It allows parties to seek immediate remedies or protections, thereby preventing irreparable harm that might occur if action isn’t taken promptly.

Ultimately, the primary purpose of interim relief is to maintain stability, protect interests, and ensure that the arbitration process is conducted fairly until a final and binding decision is rendered by the arbitral tribunal or other competent authority.

What is the Importance in Arbitration?

In the realm of international commercial arbitration, the significance of securing interim relief cannot be overstated. It stands as a pivotal aspect, holding immense importance for parties engaged in this global arena seeking swift and effective resolution of disputes.

One of the paramount reasons for its criticality lies in the nature of international commerce itself. The cross-border nature of commercial dealings often entails complexities and challenges that necessitate prompt action to protect the interests of involved parties.

Unlike domestic arbitration, where legal frameworks might be more standardized and easily accessible, international commercial arbitration traverses diverse jurisdictions, legal systems, and cultural nuances. This complexity amplifies the urgency of securing interim relief as a means to bridge potential gaps or uncertainties in the legal landscape.

Moreover, in the fast-paced world of global business, time is often of the essence. Delays in obtaining relief could lead to irreversible consequences, jeopardizing financial stability, business relationships, or crucial assets. As such, the ability to promptly secure interim relief becomes a lifeline for businesses operating on an international scale, ensuring continuity and preventing irreparable harm during the arbitration process.

Furthermore, the very essence of arbitration, emphasizing efficiency and flexibility, aligns seamlessly with the need for interim relief. Parties opt for arbitration to avoid the often lengthy and cumbersome procedures of traditional court litigation. In this context, interim relief acts as a catalyst, allowing parties to swiftly address urgent matters while preserving the fundamental tenets of arbitration – efficiency, flexibility, and neutrality.

In essence, the importance of securing interim relief in international commercial arbitration is intrinsically tied to its role in safeguarding the interests of parties involved. It serves as a beacon of assurance, enabling businesses to navigate the complexities of cross-border disputes with confidence, ensuring their rights are protected, and their interests preserved while awaiting the final resolution of the dispute.

What are the Types of Interim Relief?

Provisional Measures

Provisional measures stand as crucial instruments sought and granted before the formal constitution of the arbitral tribunal. These measures serve as a preemptive shield, providing parties with immediate protection or relief while the formal arbitration process is yet to commence. The request for provisional measures typically arises in scenarios where there’s an imminent threat of irreparable harm or loss, demanding urgent action even before the formal appointment of arbitrators.

Emergency Arbitrator Relief

In cases demanding immediate action, certain arbitration rules confer authority upon emergency arbitrators to grant interim relief. This mechanism operates swiftly and independently, allowing for timely resolution of urgent matters. Emergency arbitrators, appointed to address urgent disputes before the constitution of the full tribunal, possess the authority to issue interim measures akin to those granted by courts. This provision ensures that critical issues can be addressed promptly, mitigating potential harm or unfairness to the parties involved.

Interim Measures by Arbitral Tribunals

Once the arbitral tribunal is constituted and proceedings are underway, parties have the avenue to directly seek interim relief from the tribunal itself. This phase marks a critical juncture where the tribunal, vested with authority by the parties involved, can deliberate and grant necessary interim measures. Such measures aim to maintain fairness, protect rights, and ensure an equitable process throughout the arbitration proceedings. Parties can present their case for interim relief directly to the tribunal, seeking timely remedies that align with the evolving nature of the dispute.

Legal Basis for Interim Relief

Arbitration Laws and Conventions

The legal foundation for granting interim relief in arbitration stems from a mosaic of arbitration laws and international conventions. Across jurisdictions, various legal frameworks exist to facilitate and govern the process of seeking and granting interim relief.

In the realm of international arbitration, conventions such as the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Arbitration Rules and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Rules provide substantive guidelines for interim relief. These frameworks offer procedural mechanisms and principles guiding the application and granting of interim measures, fostering consistency and predictability in international arbitration proceedings.

Moreover, regional and national laws complement these conventions, forming the backbone of legal provisions for interim relief. For instance, the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) in the United States empowers arbitral tribunals to grant interim relief, ensuring parties have access to provisional measures to preserve their rights or prevent irreparable harm pending the final resolution.

Similarly, the English Arbitration Act 1996 provides a comprehensive legal framework for interim measures in the UK, enabling parties to seek relief before and during arbitral proceedings.

Additionally, civil codes and procedural laws in civil law jurisdictions, such as the French Code of Civil Procedure or the German Civil Procedure Code, contain provisions allowing for interim relief in arbitration.

These diverse legal instruments, conventions, and domestic laws collectively form the legal tapestry governing interim relief in arbitration. Their harmonious application ensures parties engaged in arbitration have a structured and robust legal framework to seek and obtain interim measures, contributing to the fairness, efficiency, and enforceability of the arbitration process.

Court Support for Interim Measures

Courts frequently assume a supportive role in the enforcement of interim relief granted by arbitral tribunals, bolstering the efficacy and enforceability of these measures.

In numerous jurisdictions worldwide, courts are vested with the authority to assist in the enforcement of interim measures granted by arbitral tribunals. This assistance might include measures such as the issuance of court orders or the execution of decisions aimed at enforcing the interim relief provided by the arbitral tribunal. Courts play a crucial role in ensuring the effectiveness of interim measures, as their involvement reinforces the enforceability of these measures, thereby upholding the integrity of the arbitration process.

Furthermore, courts often act as facilitators in instances where parties encounter difficulties in implementing or complying with the interim relief granted by arbitral tribunals. These judicial interventions help resolve any disputes or challenges arising from the enforcement or interpretation of the interim measures. Courts, through their inherent authority and jurisdiction, aid in ensuring that the relief granted by arbitral tribunals is duly respected and adhered to by the concerned parties.

The collaborative relationship between arbitral tribunals and courts in the enforcement of interim relief serves to fortify the effectiveness of arbitration as a dispute resolution mechanism. It instills confidence in parties engaged in arbitration, assuring them of the enforceability and support from the judicial system, thus fostering trust and credibility in the arbitration process.

What about in Türkiye?

Article 6 of the Turkish International Arbitration Law delineates the nuanced landscape regarding interim measures and attachments rewarded by arbitral tribunals within the Turkish legal system.

According to this article, parties involved in arbitration proceedings retain the right to request, either before or during arbitral proceedings, interim measures or attachments from a court. The court holds the authority to grant such measures or attachments, aligning with the ongoing arbitration process without impeding the arbitration agreement in place.

However, unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the arbitrator or arbitral tribunal possesses the discretion to order interim measures or attachments during the arbitration proceedings. This provision underscores the autonomy granted to arbitral tribunals to issue necessary interim relief to safeguard the arbitration process and protect the interests of the involved parties.

The arbitrator or tribunal, when granting interim measures or attachments, holds the prerogative to demand adequate security for these decisions. This requirement serves to ensure the enforceability and integrity of the measures or attachments ordered.

It’s crucial to note that arbitral tribunals are restrained from granting interim measures or attachments that necessitate enforcement through official authorities or bind third parties. This limitation preserves the arbitral nature of the proceedings and avoids entangling external entities.

In instances where a party fails to comply with the interim measures or attachments granted by the arbitrator or tribunal, the opposing party reserves the right to seek assistance from the competent court. The competent court, if necessary, may engage a substitute court, ensuring the efficacy of the interim measures.

Moreover, any court decision regarding interim measures or attachments, granted upon the request of a party before or during arbitral proceedings, automatically ceases to be effective once the decision of the arbitral tribunal becomes enforceable or the case is dismissed by the tribunal. This provision ensures that court decisions align with the finality of the arbitral tribunal’s determinations.

Ultimately, Article 6 in the Turkish International Arbitration Law establishes a comprehensive framework that balances the rights of parties to seek interim relief from courts and the authority of arbitral tribunals to issue measures or attachments in line with the arbitration agreement and the ongoing proceedings.

Criteria for Granting Interim Relief

Irreparable Harm

A pivotal criterion considered by arbitral tribunals when assessing requests for interim relief is the potential for irreparable harm. This criterion examines whether the party seeking relief would suffer irreparable harm or damage that cannot be adequately compensated for by monetary means. The tribunal evaluates the urgency and gravity of the harm, emphasizing the need for immediate interim measures to prevent irreversible consequences.

Likelihood of Success on the Merits

Another crucial factor in determining the granting of interim relief is the likelihood of success on the merits of the case. The tribunal assesses the strength of the party’s underlying claims, examining whether there exists a reasonable probability of the party succeeding in the arbitration. A higher likelihood of success often strengthens the case for granting interim relief.

Balance of Harm

Arbitral tribunals meticulously weigh the balance of harm between the parties, considering the potential consequences if the relief is granted or denied. This assessment involves examining the potential harm that each party would suffer and determining the relative impact on their rights and interests if interim relief is or isn’t provided. Tribunals strive to maintain an equitable balance, ensuring fairness in the decision-making process.

Procedure for Seeking Interim Relief

Filing Applications

Parties involved in arbitration proceedings typically initiate the process of seeking interim relief by filing formal applications. These applications outline the reasons and urgency necessitating the requested interim measures. The application includes comprehensive details, evidence, and legal arguments supporting the need for interim relief, emphasizing the imminent harm or urgency of the situation.

Arbitral Tribunal’s Role

Upon receipt of the application, the arbitral tribunal assumes the responsibility of evaluating the merits of the request for interim relief. The tribunal diligently assesses the application, considering the presented evidence, legal arguments, and the urgency conveyed by the parties. If the tribunal deems it necessary and justifiable, it exercises its authority to grant appropriate interim relief, ensuring that the relief ordered is proportionate to the circumstances and requirements of the case.

This meticulous evaluation process and the tribunal’s discretion in granting interim relief underscore the commitment to fairness, protection of rights, and preservation of the integrity of the arbitration proceedings.

Challenges and Enforcement of Interim Relief

Challenges to Interim Relief

One of the primary challenges faced in the realm of interim relief involves instances of non-compliance or opposition to the relief granted by arbitral tribunals. Parties may refuse to adhere to the granted relief, contesting its validity or applicability. Non-compliance undermines the enforceability of the relief and can lead to prolonged disputes, impacting the efficacy of the arbitration process.

Enforcement Across Jurisdictions

Enforcing interim relief across diverse jurisdictions presents another significant challenge. Varying legal systems, procedural differences, and divergent approaches to arbitration enforcement among different countries create complexities in ensuring the seamless execution of interim measures. Arbitral tribunals often encounter obstacles when attempting to enforce relief in jurisdictions with contrasting legal frameworks or when faced with inconsistent interpretations of arbitration agreements.

Navigating these challenges necessitates a nuanced approach that acknowledges the diversity of legal systems globally. Strategies for effective enforcement of interim relief across jurisdictions may involve engaging local counsel well-versed in the applicable laws, seeking recognition and assistance from national courts, or resorting to international conventions facilitating the enforcement of arbitral awards and interim relief.

The complexity of these challenges underscores the importance of crafting comprehensive arbitration agreements, considering enforceability aspects, and seeking proactive measures to address potential challenges in enforcing interim relief across different jurisdictions.

Impact and Significance of Interim Relief

Maintaining Status Quo

Interim relief plays a pivotal role in preserving the status quo between parties involved in arbitration. By granting temporary measures, it ensures that parties maintain their respective positions, rights, and interests until a final resolution is achieved. This preservation of the status quo prevents any unilateral actions that could potentially disrupt the balance or cause irreparable harm to either party, thereby promoting stability and fairness throughout the arbitration process.

Facilitating Arbitration Process

The availability of interim relief significantly contributes to fostering a conducive environment for the arbitration process. By providing parties with the opportunity to seek and obtain necessary interim measures, arbitration proceedings unfold in a more structured and equitable manner. This facilitation creates a framework wherein parties can address urgent issues or safeguard their rights promptly, thus contributing to the efficiency, fairness, and effectiveness of the arbitration proceedings.

In essence, interim relief stands as a cornerstone of the arbitration process, not only maintaining equilibrium between parties but also enabling a smoother and more equitable path towards reaching a final resolution. Its impact is profound, ensuring that parties engage in arbitration proceedings with a sense of assurance and trust in the process, ultimately leading to more effective and satisfactory outcomes.


In the realm of international commercial arbitration, interim relief stands tall as a crucial pillar. It serves as a beacon of protection for parties engaged in these proceedings, safeguarding their rights and interests while upholding the integrity of the arbitration process.

The provision of interim relief ensures a level playing field, allowing parties to navigate disputes with a sense of security and fairness. Its role in preserving the status quo, facilitating a balanced process, and fostering a conducive environment for arbitration cannot be overstated.

Interim relief, in essence, fortifies the foundation upon which arbitration stands, ensuring that justice is served while maintaining the harmony and equity vital for a successful resolution.

We are here to guide you as the best lawyer in Izmir and to provide answers to your legal questions. Click the link to check out our other articles.

Att. Ömer Faruk KILIÇ

Follow us on social media:

Son Yazılar

Hukuki Yardım Al

Danışmak istediğiniz her konuda bize ulaşın!