Answer ... The agreement must be in written form. A number of situations are considered to constitute valid written agreements (even though in some of these situations the written form requirement is only fictitiously fulfilled). These situations are expressly provided for by law and include the following:
- tacit acceptance of a written offer or of written confirmation of an oral offer (Articles 6(3)(1) and (2));
- reference to general conditions that contain an arbitration clause, provided that the reference is such as to make that clause part of the contract (Article 6(4)); and
- arbitration agreements concluded by the issuance of a bill of lading, which are valid if the bill of lading contains an express reference to an arbitration clause in a charterparty (Article 6(5)).
The formal requirements are much stricter for arbitration agreements in consumer contracts. In such cases the arbitration agreement must be contained in a separate document signed by both parties, which includes no agreements other than the arbitration agreement. This latter condition does not apply if the agreement is drawn up by a notary public.
Answer ... Yes. Separability is provided for in Article 15(1) of the Arbitration Act, according to which an arbitration clause which forms part of a contract shall be treated as an agreement independent of the other terms of the contract. It is also expressly provided that a decision that renders a contract null and void shall not affect the validity of the arbitration clause.
Answer ... In the absence of an agreement between the parties, the place of arbitration will be determined by the arbitral tribunal, taking into consideration the circumstances of the case, including the convenience of the parties. If the arbitrators fail to determine the seat of the arbitration during the arbitral proceedings, it is presumed that the place of arbitration is that designated in the award as the place where the award was rendered.
In the absence of agreement between the parties, the language of the arbitration may be decided by the arbitrators. Until the language is determined, submissions may be exchanged in the language of the main contract, the language of the arbitration agreement or the Croatian language. The Croatian language will also be the default language if both the parties and the arbitrators fail to reach agreement on the language of the proceedings.