Arbitration in Slovakia is developing in accordance with international standards. This blog post examines the main features of the legal instruments, according to which the regulation of arbitration in Slovakia is carried out.
From time to time, commercial and investment disputes may arise between the contracting states and natural or legal persons of other states. Although national legal procedures generally apply to such disputes, in certain cases international settlement methods may be appropriate. Therefore, it is logical to refer to structures for international conciliation and arbitration, to which the contracting states could refer such disputes if they wish so. Slovakia is a contracting state of the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, the commercial arbitration court of the World Bank.
Arbitral awards in non-contracting states will be enforceable to the extent that reciprocal treatment is granted in respect of awards rendered in Slovakia by those states.
If you decide to initiate proceedings through arbitration in Slovakia, you will be interested to know that the Republic has entered into 63 bilateral investment agreements, including with: Belarus, Egypt, Israel, Canada, China, Cuba, North Korea, Singapore, South Korea, the USA, Uzbekistan, Finland.
Like other EU members, Slovakia had to negotiate amendments to its bilateral investment treaty with the United States as it was considered incompatible with EU law.
Domestic arbitration law
If you choose to start arbitration in Slovakia, the Arbitration Law is the main source of arbitration law in that jurisdiction, with the exception of consumer arbitration.
These laws apply to domestic and foreign arbitrations and awards.
In Slovakia, the most influential arbitration court remains the Arbitration Court of the Slovak Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Bratislava. Nevertheless, the Arbitration Court of the Slovak Bar Association (SBA) is proving its growing popularity.
To settle a commercial dispute in Slovakia, an arbitration panel must first be appointed. Any natural person of any nationality with full legal capacity and no criminal record can act as an arbitrator. Certain exceptions have been established for government officials such as current judges or prosecutors. Permanent courts of arbitration may provide additional requirements.
Initiate arbitration proceedings in Slovakia
In the absence of an agreement on the place and language of the arbitration, the arbitral tribunal shall determine them taking into account the nature of the dispute and the interests of the parties.
This definition applies to each written submission by a party, hearing and award, unless the parties agree otherwise.
One can start claiming a commercial dispute in Slovakia by filing a statement of claim, which must contain the identification of the parties, an accurate description of the decisive facts, the specification of the proposed evidence in accordance with the provisions of the law, the signature of the plaintiff or his representatives.
Consumer arbitration in Slovakia
What you should know if you have made the decision to start consumer arbitration in Slovakia:
- the arbitration procedure begins with the filing of a written claim with the competent arbitration court;
- arbitration guarantees the same rights as in standard litigation, that is, to present evidence for the defense;
- the procedure ends with an award;
- one can appeal to civil court within three months.
Arbitrations conducted in Slovakia are private and typically confidential. The arbitral awards also remain confidential. All these make arbitrations seated in Slovakia attractive for parties concerned about the disclosure of commercially-sensitive information and potential reputational damage.
On what grounds can decisions be challenged and canceled?
The law provides for both the possibility of appealing against the decision, and its revision by arbitration court, as well as a petition to the court to cancel the decision. Both remedies are only available for domestic arbitral awards. A regular appeal is available in all cases, an emergency appeal only applies if specific conditions set out in the Code of Civil Procedure are met. The costs mainly consist of legal fees.
Arbitration is considered one of the most effective ways to resolve commercial disputes with foreign partners in Slovakia. If you would like to order a consultation on the peaceful settlement of disputes in Slovakia, please contact our specialists at the contacts indicated on the website.