Answer ... Generally, each party appoints one arbitrator and the respectively appointed arbitrators elect the third arbitrator (chairman). In the case of more than three arbitrators, the same rule applies mutatis mutandis: the parties appoint the arbitrators in equal proportion and the final arbitrator is appointed by the elected arbitrators by majority vote.
If a party fails to appoint its arbitrator within 30 days of receiving the other party’s notice or if the arbitrators appointed by the parties do not agree on the third or remaining arbitrator within 30 days of their appointment, the competent regional court will appoint the arbitrator. If the dispute falls under the competence of the Arbitration Court of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI), the appointment is exercised by the HCCI’s president.
Answer ... The parties may freely agree on the number of arbitrators, as long as this is an odd number. In the absence of such agreement, the number of arbitrators is three.
There is no specific requirement as to the qualifications of arbitrators. However, a person may not be appointed as an arbitrator if he or she:
- is under 24;
- has been prohibited from public matters;
- has been sentenced to imprisonment;
- is under guardianship;
- has been prohibited from exercising a profession requiring law school degree; or
- is under probation.
Answer ... An arbitrator is obliged to disclose any circumstances that might raise lawful doubts as to his or her unbiased position or independence. A motion for challenge may be submitted if:
- any circumstances exist that raise lawful doubt as to his or her unbiased position or independence; or
- the arbitrator does not have the necessary qualifications or other criteria stipulated in the parties’ agreement.
A party may challenge an arbitrator it has appointed only for reasons that become known to that party after the appointment.
The parties may agree on the procedure for challenge. In the absence of such agreement, a party may submit written notice to the tribunal within 15 days of the arbitrator’s appointment or of the date on which it becomes aware of the circumstance giving rise to the challenge.
Answer ... The new arbitrator is appointed in accordance with the same provisions as those governing the appointment of the (previous) arbitrator with the terminated mandate.
Answer ... The general duties apply to the arbitrators: that is, the arbitrators must be independent, impartial and unbiased. Notably, there are no specific legal provisions on ethics.
Answer ... (a) Procedure, including evidence?
Generally, the parties may - within the framework of the Arbitration Act - freely agree on the rules of procedure. If no such agreement is concluded, the tribunal will determine the rules of procedure at its own discretion. The competence of the tribunal includes determination of the admissibility, relevance and weight of evidence.
(b) Interim relief?
Arbitrators have the power to order interim measures. Such orders are enforceable pursuant to the rules of judicial enforcement.
(c) Parties which do not comply with its orders?
Generally, the tribunal will continue the proceedings and adopt a decision based on the available documents and evidence. The Arbitration Act regulates certain special cases stipulated in the act, such as the following:
- If the claimant fails to submit its claim, the tribunal will dismiss the proceedings; and
- If the defendant fails to submit its response, the tribunal will continue the proceedings without considering the omission itself as an acknowledgement.
Some orders are enforceable, such as an order on interim measures.
(d) Issuing partial final awards?
Arbitrators have the power to issue partial awards.
(e) The remedies it can grant in a final award?
The Arbitration Act does not limit the types of remedies that a tribunal may grant.
Arbitrators have the power to order interest (even compound interest) if the underlying agreement or the applicable substantive law so provides and the party so request in its statement of claim.
Answer ... If any of the parties fails to appear in the hearing or fails to submit its evidence, the tribunal may continue the proceedings and adopt a decision based on the available evidence.
Answer ... The Arbitration Act remains silent on the immunity of arbitrators.