When an award is made in an arbitration, who can enforce it?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In general, when an award is made in arbitration, the side that is most pleased with the reward will need to push to have it enforced.  Often, there will be no need to enforce the award, but there will be times when the losing side will try to avoid complying with the award.  In that case, the winning side is likely to need to resort to the legal system to have its award enforced.

An arbitration award itself does not have the force of law.  However, it is generally not terribly hard to get it to be enforceable under the law.  The side that wins the arbitration simply has to submit an application to a court of law.  The side that wins will almost always get its application approved very easily because most arbitration is based on contracts between the two parties.  In other words, both sides have already agreed to be bound by the arbitration.

So, the winning side applies to have the arbitration award confirmed by a court.  Once this is done, the court is bound to enforce the award.