Romania has a history in commercial arbitration, including international arbitration: arbitration has been regulated in Romania since 1865 (under the old Civil Procedure Code and now under the new Civil Procedure Code, which entered into force on 15 February 2013). Romanian legal provisions applicable to domestic and international arbitration are compatible with the UNCITRAL Model Law as they are based on the same main principles, but without following the text of the Model Law. Due to the modern legal framework, more and more investors and state entities are choosing arbitration to settle disputes in Romania. Below are some key aspects of Romanian arbitration law.

Key places of arbitration in the jurisdiction Bucarest.
Civil law / Common law environment? Civil law. It is important to note that EU law is considered to be part of the national order.
Confidentiality of arbitrations? Although not expressly provided, the arbitrators have the obligation to keep the proceeding confidential, otherwise they can be held liable.
Requirement to retain (local) counsel? No legal obligation to hire counsels.
Ability to present party employee witness testimony? There are no restrictions, but the relationship would be relevant to the evidentiary weight granted.
Ability to hold meetings and/or hearings outside of the seat? Yes.
Availability of interest as a remedy? The arbitral tribunal can award interest if requested and if the law applicable to the merits allows it.
Ability to claim for reasonable costs incurred for the arbitration? Yes.
Restrictions regarding contingency fee arrangements and/or third-party funding? Under Romanian law, lawyers are not allowed to conclude quota litis agreements.
Party to the New York Convention? Yes.
Other key points to note ϕ
WJP Civil Justice score (2017-2018) 0.65


Date of arbitration law? 2013. The main body of law applicable to arbitration in Romania is set out in Book IV "On Arbitration" and in Book VII, "On International Arbitration and the Effects of Foreign Arbitral Awards", of the new Civil Procedure Code.
UNCITRAL Model Law? If so, any key changes thereto? Although the International arbitration provisions are not based on the UNCITRAL Model Law, it is in line with its principles.
Availability of specialised courts or judges at the key seat(s) in the jurisdiction for handling arbitration-related matters? The arbitration related matters are handled by the municipal civil courts (Tribunal) or by courts of appeal (Curte de Apel).
Availability of ex parte pre-arbitration interim measures? Yes.
Courts' attitude towards the competence-competence principle? Arbitral tribunal's right to rule on its own competence is upheld. Furthermore, the court, when seized with a dispute in relation to which there is a valid arbitral agreement will decline competence.
Grounds for annulment of awards additional to those based on the criteria for the recognition and enforcement of awards under the New York Convention? Awards can notably be annulled in the following circumstances:
  • the decision was rendered after the expiry of the agreed time limit although termination had been invoked by one of the parties and there was no party agreement for the continuation of the arbitration;
  • the decision did not include the reasons, did not state the date and place where it was rendered, or was not signed by the arbitrators;
  • after the award was rendered, the Constitutional Court renders a decision on an unconstitutionality objection raised in the course of the arbitral proceedings, declaring unconstitutional the law or piece of legislation or provision which formed the subject of the objection.
Courts' attitude towards the recognition and enforcement of foreign awards annulled at the seat of the arbitration? Under the new provisions, both recognition and enforcement may be suspended or rejected if the foreign award had been subject to annulment at the seat.
Other key points to note? Access to the Constitutional Control for arbitral tribunals:

The access of arbitral tribunals to the Constitutional Court takes place by means of objection as to the unconstitutionality of a law or a provision of the law.

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