Table of Contents

    The arbitration procedure is defined by the Judicial code, articles 1676 to 1723 included;

    It is mandatory for the parties to give their written consent for the procedure (the so-called ‘arbitration convention’ that must be drawn up at the time of the dispute, unless it was included from the beginning in the contract’s general terms);

    Usually, a legal action cannot take place if an arbitration procedure has started, unless the convention has ended or is irregular;

    The arbiter(s) is designated by the parties and (in case there are several of them) they form a college;

    The parties can decide to have oral or written debates. They come to defend their position, by themselves or represented by a third party of their choice (lawyer, etc.);

    There are deadlines to respect to call the parties, to allow them to defend their arguments and to conclude the arbitration procedure;

    The arbiter(s) write down the decision in what is called the ‘arbitral award’, which he (they) must sign. The decision on the disputes is taken by the arbiter(s) and not by the parties;

    A copy of the award is then sent to the parties to officially inform them of the decision. Another copy is sent to the court office of the Court of First Instance;

    The decision must be carried out by the parties. If one of them does not comply, the other must then ask the President of the Tribunal of First Instance to give a formal order (= executory title or exequatur);

    Arbitration and the decision that follows it do not make it possible anymore to go – on appeal – to a court of law afterwards. The Judicial Code includes strict dispositions for cases of cancellation of an arbitral award (for instance: decision contrary to public order, invalid arbitration convention, etc.).

    Last update
    21 February 2019