Answer ... In order for an arbitration agreement to be valid, it must be in writing. An agreement is in writing if it is contained in a document signed by the parties or in an exchange of letters, telexes, telegrams or other means of communication which provides a record of the agreement, or in an exchange of statements of claim and defence in which the existence of an agreement is alleged by one party and not denied by another.
In addition, a reference made in a contract to a certain document (eg, general conditions of contract) containing an arbitration clause constitutes an arbitration agreement, provided that:
- such contract is in writing; and
- the reference is such that it makes the clause part of the contract (Article 7).
Answer ... In accordance with the Arbitration Act, an arbitration clause that forms a part of a contract shall be treated as an agreement independent of the other terms of the contract. A decision of the tribunal that the contract is null and void shall not entail, ipso jure, the invalidity of the arbitration clause (Article 16 (1)).
Answer ... If the parties fail to agree on the seat of the arbitration, according to the Arbitration Act, the seat of arbitration shall be determined by the tribunal, having regard to the circumstances of the case, including the convenience of the parties. This notwithstanding, and unless the parties have agreed otherwise, the tribunal may meet at any place it considers appropriate:
- to consult among its members;
- to hear witnesses, experts or the parties; or
- to inspect goods, other property or documents (Article 20).
If the parties have not agreed on the language of the arbitration, the Arbitration Act explicitly provides that the tribunal shall determine the language or languages to be used in the proceedings (considering, in particular, the language of the contract). This decision, unless otherwise specified therein, shall apply to any written statements by the parties, any hearings and any award, decisions or other communications by the tribunal.
If the tribunal fails to reach agreement on the language of arbitration, the proceedings will be conducted in Macedonian (Article 22).