I. The Dutch-Belgian Convention of 28 March 1925 on Territorial Jurisdiction, Bankruptcy and Enforcement of Judgments, Arbitration Awards and Authentic Instruments applies in Belgium with regard to the recognition of arbitral awards rendered in the Netherlands. This Convention prevails on the procedural rules of the Belgian Judicial Code. There is no contradiction between the Dutch-Belgian Convention and the New York Convention of 1958 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitration Awards, in respect of the issues that are not dealt with by the New York Convention, such as the requirements for filing an application of exequatur, the procedural rules and the recourse. The principles of consistency and of legal certainty command a harmonised interpretation of those two Conventions.
II. The Dutch-Belgian Convention applies to the recognition and to the enforcement of all arbitral awards and not only to those rendered in civil and commercial matters.
III. As it provides in its article 18.2 that the “decision of the president of the civil court” as mentioned in article 15, can only be challenged through an appeal, the Dutch-Belgian Convention also refers to a unilateral decision, in this case the decision granting the exequatur of an arbitral award. The Dutch-Belgian Convention validly derogates on this point to the Belgian domestic law.
IV. The Dutch-Belgian Convention of 28 March 1925 has not become obsolete. The mere fact that it has not been applied by the contracting States, even for a relatively long period of time, does not lead to its extinction. Moreover, nothing proves the common will of Belgium and of the Netherlands to terminate the Convention in arbitration matters.b-Arbitra | Belgian Review of Arbitration