What is arbitration?
An arbitration court can decide any dispute which the litigating parties can terminate in court by agreed consent, particularly in property disputes that originate from legally commercial or civil relationships within Slovakia or internationally.
An arbitration court cannot rule on the following disputes:
- Disputes regarding origin, change or extinguishing of ownership rights and other property law
- Civil disputes (e.g. suspending capability to enter into legal acts, child custody cases, divorce proceedings, etc.)
- Disputes related to forcible execution of a judgment
- Disputes which originate during bankruptcy and receivership proceedings
Advantages of arbitration
- Flexibility and speed
Arbitration normally lasts, from when the motion is filed until the decision by the arbitration court, between 1-3 months, depending especially on the seriousness of the case.
- Choice of venue
As opposed to the general courts, proceedings can take place at a suitable venue the arbitrating parties can agree on.
- Cost savings
Besides decreasing overall court-related expenses (e.g. expenses for legal representation due to the speed of proceedings), cost savings include court fees for proceedings before an arbitration court probably being lower than similar fees for proceedings before general courts.
- Written evidence from arbitration
Arbitration is usually conducted in writing. When necessary, however, oral proceedings on the matter are not ruled out.
As opposed to proceedings before the general courts, there is no publication of arbitration proceedings. Rulings from the arbitration court are treated as confidential.
- Selecting an arbiter and objectivity
Parties to arbitration have the option of selecting the arbiter who will rule on the dispute that has arisen. If no agreement can be reached regarding the selection of the arbiter, the presiding officer of the arbitration court normally appoints the arbiter.
- Specialization of the arbiters
Arbiters within an arbitration court are experienced lawyers which practical expertise in various areas of the law, which guarantees high proficiency and knowledge of the issues involved when deciding a case.
- Enforceability of rulings from arbitration
A final, enforceable ruling by an arbiter from an arbitration court allows the entitled party, in the event the obliged party fails to comply, to recover claims where the ruling is an order of distraint.
- Single instance
The Arbitration Act allows no appeal to be lodged against an arbitration ruling. Nevertheless, the parties are protected by the option to file a motion for the general court to cancel the arbiter’s decision, although only in cases which are mentioned in the Arbitration Act.
How to proceed?
Disputes may be arbitrated before an arbitration court only on either the basis of a written consent by the parties before the dispute arose or consequently after the dispute arose.
The simplest method to ensure a ruling from an arbitration court regarding a dispute is to insert an arbitration clause into a written contract or agreement. Any currently concluded contract or agreement with an arbitration clause establishes the arbitration court’s competence to rule on any possible dispute related to the concluded contract.
If a dispute does arise which originates from a concluded contract, the parties to the contract can put forward a motion to the arbitration court defined in the arbitration clause.
Several arbitration courts operate in Slovakia. One of them is the Court of Arbitration established in accordance with §12 par. 1 of the Arbitration Act at Arbitrážny dom a.s., a commercial company with its registered office at ?SA 24, 974 01 Banská Bystrica, Company No.: 36 756 202, incorporated in the Banská Bystrica District Court Commercial Register, Section: Sa, Insert No. 887/S. One of the advantages of arbitration before the Court of Arbitration is, in particular, the utilization of the Court of Arbitration’s specialized software, which ensures sufficient capacity to process a large number of proceedings, with the opportunity to determine the status of arbitration online.
If you wish to have a possible dispute decided by the Court of Arbitration, you may include in your contract an arbitration clause designating the Court of Arbitration. The arbitration clause can be subsequently inserted as a separate article into a written contract or agreement which you conclude with your partner. There is no charge for inserting and utilizing this clause and consent from the Court of Arbitration is not required.
Further information about the Court of Arbitration can found on the Court of Arbitration’s website: http://www.arbitraznysud.sk
More detailed information about arbitration is contained in Act No. 244/2002 Coll. on Arbitration.
Legal services of a law office in arbitration
If an attorney is drafting for you a contract or agreement, you can ask him or her to insert an arbitration clause in it. The selection of a specific arbitration court or arbiter is solely the decision of the contracting parties.
If an attorney is representing you in litigation before a general court, you may consult with him or her about the possibility of having this dispute decided by an arbitration court. The condition is that all litigating parties before the general court have to consent to this. The attorney, in cooperation with the other litigating parties, drafts an arbitration agreement, which is forwarded to the general court once it has been signed by the litigating parties. Delivery of the arbitration agreement to the general court has the effect of withdrawing the motion to commence litigation before the general court.
You may utilize legal representation by an attorney in proceedings before an arbitration court. The attorney should be familiar, in particular, with the court’s rules of procedure and subsequently draft the motion in your name, which is then delivered to the
arbitration court. In proceedings before the arbitration court, the attorney will represent you until the matter has been legally finalized. The right to compensation for arbitration costs follows the same principle as in proceedings before a general court.