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Arbitration is a widely used form of ADR in France. Prior to the adoption of the UNCITRAL Model Law, French arbitration laws were considered one of the most flexible & liberal in the world. So, let’s take a closer look at the procedure for the settlement of a dispute by arbitration in France.

France: Arbitration Laws

Following the 2011 amendments to French arbitration legislation, a special legal regime applicable to both domestic & international arbitration was put in place. The new regime defines arbitration as the settlement of a dispute in France by agreement of individuals. 

According to it, arbitration proceedings may be initiated under the supervision of the International Chamber of Commerce. French law on international arbitration is applicable only if an international dispute is resolved in France or if it is somehow connected with France (e.g. an arbitration venue is France).

France: Settlement of International Arbitration Disputes

Parties to a dispute & arbitration tribunals are provided with the widest possible freedom to conduct arbitration in France. However, it should be borne in mind that international arbitration agreements don’t apply to any formal requirements.

If parties encounter difficulties in appointing arbitrators, they may seek assistance from the High Court which is authorized to appoint judges instead of parties. French international arbitration law enables parties & arbitration tribunals to organize arbitration proceedings in whichever manner they find suitable. The only limitation they have to put up with is the adherence to the principles of international public order in France ( failure to comply with it may result in an arbitral award being set aside).

France: Rendering Arbitral Awards

There’s no requirement as to when & in what form an award is to be made (as opposed to internal arbitration, which provides for a 6-month period during which disputes must be resolved). However, parties & arbitrators are required to unwaveringly adhere to procedure for initiating arbitration proceedings in France. International arbitration awards aren't subject to appeal (unlike internal arbitration awards which can be appealed if both parties have agreed to it). An appeal can only be filed in case of the annulment of a decision on specific grounds, namely:

  • incompetence of arbitrators taking part in the resolution of a dispute through arbitration in France;
  • parties’ failure to adhere to proper procedure for composing an arbitration tribunal;
  • arbitrators’ exceeding their authority;
  • the due process principle being violated;
  • recognition or enforcement of the award contradicting France’s international public order.

Courts never will not reconsider an arbitral award if it’s applied incorrectly. However, they take a minimal approach to control, except in cases of alleged corruption. Since 2011, parties may waive their right to file a cancellation claim to challenge the validity of awards before French courts.

Conclusion

And that wraps up our short review of arbitration proceedings in France. If you want to know more about dispute resolution through arbitration in France or have any questions regarding arbitration regulation in France, do not hesitate to contact IQ Decision UK. Our legal experts will be delighted to lend you a helping hand with whatever legal issues you’re facing in this regard.