COMMENT OF THE DAY #44
Arbitrators often struggle with the difference between a Final Award, an Interim Award, a Preliminary Award and a Partial Award.
All awards are final on the matters they address. It is the decision of the arbitrators + it stands. It can only be re-considered by an S 57 application for clerical slip, omission or ambiguity or an appeal. But it is final in the sense that the first award on an agreed issue cannot be followed by a second award on the same issue.
It is final on the matters identified in the award. An award on liability is final on the issue of liability. It is not an award on damages. The parties may return + request an award on damages. That will be a separate award on the issue of damages only + on the costs of that award.
Sometimes you will be required to make an award on a preliminary issue – eg jurisdiction. But the award that you make will be a final award on jurisdiction – it is not a temporary award. It is the final word on jurisdiction – subject to any rights of appeal. This award is described as a Final Award on the Preliminary Issue of Jurisdiction