China Machine New Energy Corporation v Jaguar Energy Guatemala LLC 2020 SGCA 12 CA-CA 94-2018 - 28 February 2020
1 The concept of due process encompasses a basic guarantee of procedural fairness in legal proceedings. It requires that each party be given, amongst other things, appropriate notice of the proceedings and of the case it has to meet, as well as a fair opportunity to prepare and present its case before a neutral and unbiased decision-maker. These are basic procedural safeguards which are applied in order to ensure the fairness of the proceedings by which the parties' substantive rights are disposed of. In short, due process is concerned with ensuring fair process, and this is a matter of critical importance because the fairness of the process is integral to its legitimacy in the eyes of the parties who submit themselves to it.
2 These procedural safeguards can assume an enhanced significance in international arbitration because an alleged violation of a party's due process rights offers one of a limited number of grounds on the basis of which an award may be set aside or denied enforcement. In arbitration, the tribunal is ordinarily the master of its own procedure, but the requirement of due process is an essential limitation on the wide autonomy that the parties and the tribunal otherwise have with respect to procedure.
Arbitration - Award - Recourse against award - Setting aside - Rules of natural justice