The Definition of Procedural Agreements and Importancy to Define the Contractual Nature of the Arbitration Clause in International Arbitration

Yearbook of International Arbitration, pp. 21-50, M. Roth, M. Giestlinger, eds., Intersentia / DIKE / NWV, Vienna-Graz, 2012

30 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2012

Date Written: March 30, 2012

Abstract

The nature of the arbitration agreement in most legal systems (at least legal systems other than common law) is somewhat unclear. Presently, it is not possible to make any decisive statements as to which theory is the only correct one. On the other hand, it is necessary to examine each arbitration agreement invoked by the parties at the beginning of the proceedings and choose one of the current theories mentioned above. The classification of the arbitration agreement might, under certain circumstances, be the decisive element in determining the rules, i.e. procedural or substantive rules, applicable to the arbitration agreement. In civil law tradtion arbitration agreements may be defined as procedural agreements in broader sense, which does not have effects in proceedings only, but which are of substantial significance for qualitative evaluation of the substantive contractual relation between parties. Nevertheless, despite a mixed nature of arbitration agreements (as well as all jurisdictional agreements), jurisdiction is a procedural and not substantive category in the civil law tradition and jurisdiction remains the procedural condition (procedural requirement). Taking decision on jurisdiction in arbitration by partial award is in contradiction to the concept of jurisdiction as a procedural category, rather an interim award may be used for such decisions. Jurisdictional decisions taken in course of arbitration are, however, not substantive decisions and do not effect any Res Judicata. Some of civil law jurisdictions, completely in compliance with the concept of jurisdiction as procedural category, therefore deny to set-aside jurisdictional awards rendered prior to rendering award(s) on the merits of the dispute. Having any civil law dimension in arbitration, it may cause significant problems to the parties, if the arbitral tribunal decides on jurisdiction by a separate jurisdictional award.

Keywords: accidentalia negotii, anti-suit injunction, arbitration, arbitration agreement, award on jurisdiction, interim award, lex arbitri, naturalia negotii, pactum de non petendo, partial award, private international law, procedural agreement, procedural condition, procedural contract, set-aside

JEL Classification: K10, K12, K19, K30, K33, K39, K40, K41, K49

Suggested Citation

Belohlavek, Alexander J., The Definition of Procedural Agreements and Importancy to Define the Contractual Nature of the Arbitration Clause in International Arbitration (March 30, 2012). Yearbook of International Arbitration, pp. 21-50, M. Roth, M. Giestlinger, eds., Intersentia / DIKE / NWV, Vienna-Graz, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2193907

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