Answer ... Arbitration is governed by national law and international conventions. However, the standard rules of three permanent institutions and the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration also have a decisive role.
The Czech legislation on arbitration is Act 216/1994 Coll, on Arbitration Proceedings and on Enforcement of Arbitration Awards, which regulates issues relating to the arbitration agreement and the arbitrators, and distinguishes between ad hoc arbitration and institutional arbitration.
Unless the law stipulates otherwise, the provisions of Act 99/1963 Coll, Civil Procedure Code, shall also apply to the arbitration proceedings.
Oral arbitration agreements are inadmissible. The arbitration agreement must be concluded in writing; otherwise, it is invalid.
Answer ... No. Some states do not distinguish between domestic and international arbitration; the Czech Republic is one such state. However, for special issues with an international element, special applicable regulations are incorporated directly into the Arbitration Act.
Answer ... The Arbitration Act is not based on the UNCITRAL Model Law, but it is strongly influenced by the Model Law insofar as is compatible with the current legal and economic situation in the Czech Republic.
Answer ... Although most provisions of the legislation have mandatory application, a small percentage are left at the disposal of the parties to the arbitration agreement. For example, “Unless the parties agree otherwise, the proceedings shall be conducted orally”.
Answer ... The Arbitration Act was significantly amended in 2016. Among other things, the revisions excluded consumer disputes from arbitration; these are now subject to resolution solely by a competent court. The most recent amendment of the Arbitration Act was in 2017, which assigned subject-matter jurisdiction for decisions on the invalidity of arbitration agreements to the regional courts.
There are no known plans to further amend the arbitration legislation in the near future.
Answer ... Yes – the Czech Republic ratified the New York Convention on 27 April 1959.
The Czech Republic has reserved the principle of reciprocity (Article I(3) of the New York Convention). Therefore, the convention applies only to the recognition and enforcement of awards made in the territory of another contracting state.
Answer ... Yes – the Czech Republic is a signatory to the following multilateral treaties regarding arbitration:
- the European Convention on International Commercial arbitration
- the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States; and
- the Geneva Convention on the Execution of Foreign Arbitral Awards.
Additionally, the Czech Republic is a party to many bilateral treaties which provide for mutual assistance in the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards.