Elf Aquitaine Iran v National Iranian Oil Company 11 YBCA 97 Bernhard Gomar Arbitrator

1966 the National Iranian Oil Company entered into an agreement with French companies, the agreement included an arbitration clause, with three arbitrators, if failure the sole arbitrator was going to be nominated by the Danish Supreme Court. 1980 the Islamic Iran, passed an act establishing a Special Committee to review oil agreements, by letter ELF was informed by NIOC that the Committee had declared null and void the agreement 1966, since it was invariance with the Iranian Nationalisation Act 1951. NOIC objected the validity of arbitraton since the agreement had been declared null and void ab initio by the Special Committee.

(18) It is a generally recognised principle of the law or international arbitration that arbitration clauses continue to be operative even though an objection is raised by one of the parties that the contract containing the arbitration clause is null and void. (19) the rational strength of this principle is apparent. In absence of access to international courts, arbitration under and international rule of law presents a workable and qualified system for the settlement of disputes independent of both parties involved