Whether an interim measure of protection is an arbitral award is a hotly debated question, which has received almost every conceivable answer from legislators, courts and commentators. The extent of the disagreement is not easily explained. Part of the explanation is ambiguity over how the question should be addressed: is the concept of an ‘arbitral award’ a single notion or a variable one? Is it static or evolving? Is it a question of definition or policy? The answers given to these questions suggest that ambiguity over whether an interim measure is an award reflects a broader debate about the legal basis of international arbitration itself. Ultimately, however, the dispute appears to be something of a side-show. The Model Law shows that the policy objective of ensuring that interim measures are enforceable through the courts is achievable without creating the negative consequences that flow from classifying interim measures as awards.