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If you are interested in resolving an arbitration dispute in Austria, please note that a few years ago, the country underwent a reform, according to which the Supreme Court was determined as the sole instance in matters related to arbitration. At the same time, a specialized chamber was founded to deal with issues of compulsory execution of foreign judgments.

Before you start an international commercial dispute in Austria through arbitration, please get acquainted with amendments on the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards. It is important to know that such cases are now initiated in district courts but you can appeal their awards to the Supreme Court.

Advantages of arbitration in Austria

Austria is one of the world's leading arbitration platforms. Today entrepreneurs from all over the world choose to start arbitration in Austria. Unlike the UK, France and Sweden, in Austria, cases on applications for the cancellation of arbitral awards are considered only in one instance – the Austrian Supreme Court, which reduces the time and costs of these proceedings. At the same time, the Austrian legislation on arbitration does not provide waiver of the right to challenge arbitral awards, i.e. does not exclude the very possibility of judicial control over the arbitral award.

An important advantage of using the Center is its arbitration fees, which are often lower than those of other leading institutions. The Center not only provides high quality dispute resolution in international arbitration in Austria, but also allows you to significantly save on arbitration costs. Recently, an electronic case management system has been introduced, which significantly saves precious time. 

Key arbitration bodies in Austria

The Vienna International Arbitration Center is one of the most authoritative and reputable arbitration institutions in Europe. It administers only international arbitrations, so if you intend to resolve an international dispute in Austria, this will be a great choice. 

Over the past five years, the Center has received from 40 to 60 new cases annually. It is an excellent choice for those who intend to resolve disputes related to Austria. However, cases not related to Austria are often considered there, too. The Vienna Rules combines both the traditional provisions of the arbitration rules and current innovations in this area. Mediation and other ADR procedures are administered here, too. 

Settlement of investment disputes in Austria: arbitration clause

At the stage of concluding an international commercial agreement, it is impossible to foresee all situations that may arise in the future. However, the parties have to single out certain aspects to focus at in order to minimize the risks associated with the protection of violated rights. The correct drafting of an arbitration clause is crucial in the negotiation of an international investment agreement. It must be clear, unambiguously interpreting the intention of the parties to refer the dispute to an arbitration court. In the absence of the accuracy of the wording , a conflict situation may arise.

Arbitration in Austria: selecting arbitrators

If you are planning to initiate arbitration proceedings in Austria, please keep in mind when selecting arbitrators that current members of the judiciary cannot act as arbitrators. They may face disciplinary action if this order is violated. However, even in case of violation, this is not considered a ground for setting aside the award.

First what the parties should do is to define the criteria and qualities of the chosen arbitrator, such as:

  • the arbitrator must know the law relevant to your dispute and be neutral in relation to everything except the law and the evidence presented;
  • the arbitrator must be independent from everything that may affect the dispute, from the other party and other third parties who may have influence on the dispute;
  • the arbitrator must have an interest in the effective conduct of the arbitration proceedings so that he is professionally interested in completing the arbitration efficiently and quickly;
  • and most importantly, the arbitrator should be trusted, that is, this person must be known, and his reactions to certain events are understandable, and moral qualities undoubtful;
  • the arbitrator must have experience in the area to which the dispute relates, and education related to the subject of the dispute.

Final word

Please remember that the outcome of an arbitration dispute directly depends on who protects your interests. The key to a positive court decision is the qualifications and experience of your representatives in court.

To request advice from a specialist in international arbitration law or to receive advice on dispute resolution through arbitration in Austria, please contact the IQ Decision UK solicitors at the contacts listed on the website.