Answer ... In Macedonia, arbitration is governed by:
- the International Commercial Arbitration Act, enacted in 2006 to regulate international arbitration; and
- the Litigation Act, enacted in 2005 (as amended from time to time), which since the entry into force of the Arbitration Act governs only domestic arbitrations. The Arbitration Act does not expressly stipulate that the Litigation Act no longer applies to international arbitration. However, under the transitional provisions of the Litigation Act, its provision on disputes with an international element ceased to apply on the entry into force of the Arbitration Act. Therefore - and additionally by operation of the principles of lex specialis derogat legi generali and lex posterior derogat legi priori - it may be understood that since the Arbitration Act entered into force, the Litigation Act is applicable only to domestic arbitrations seated in Macedonia.
Certain issues relevant to arbitration are also governed by the International Private Law Act, which regulates procedures for the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards.
The following responses relate only to international arbitration as governed by the Arbitration Act.
Answer ... The Macedonian legislation differentiates between domestic arbitration and international arbitration. As observed in question 1, the Arbitration Act applies only to international arbitration, while the Litigation Act governs domestic arbitration.
Arbitration is considered international if it contains international elements - that is, if:
at least one of the parties, at the moment of conclusion of the arbitration agreement, is:
- a natural person with his or her habitual residence or domicile outside the territory of Macedonia; or
- a legal entity with its place of business outside the territory of Macedonia; or
- the place where a substantial part of the obligation should be performed or the place with which the subject matter of the dispute is most closely connected is outside Macedonia (Article 1(3)).
Although the Litigation Act does not expressly define ‘domestic arbitration’, the term concerns disputes with no international element. In conjunction with the Arbitration Act, it may thus be understood that domestic arbitrations are those which lack any international element (ie, that have none of the characteristics of international arbitrations outlined above).
Answer ... The Arbitration Act is based on the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration of 1985.
Answer ... No. The Arbitration Act allows the parties to make their own arrangements on certain matters in accordance with the principle of party autonomy. For example, the parties, in accordance with the Arbitration Act, may agree on the procedure for the appointment of arbitrators (Article 11(2)).
Answer ... There are officially no current plans to amend the arbitration legislation in Macedonia.
Answer ... Following its independence, Macedonia acceded to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 1958 on 10 March 1994, subject to the reservations of non-retroactivity and applicability to commercial disputes.
Answer ... Yes, Macedonia is a party to the European Convention on International Commercial Arbitration and the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States. In addition, Macedonia has concluded many bilateral investment treaties.