Arbitration in Serbia

Arbitration represents an alternative mechanism to settlement of disputes before a court. The parties can agree to arbitrate a dispute that arises out of a domestic and international business transaction or any legal matter in the field of contracting, sport, employment or foreign investment. The very nature of arbitration is embedded in the consent of the parties.

The arbitration agreement between the parties stands as a foundation of the arbitral tribunal’s jurisdiction to settle the dispute in accordance with the applicable law.

The tribunal consists of arbitrators chosen by the parties or appointed by the institution that administers the proceedings. The corner stone of a successful arbitration lays in the independence and impartiality of arbitrators appointed to settle a dispute, providing a guarantee that the arbitral award would be an unbiased one.

Despite the fact that any individual with full legal and business capacity (regardless of age, gender, profession or nationality) can act as an arbitrator, the parties choose members of the arbitral tribunal based on the knowledge, expertise and previous experience in arbitration of the persons chosen.

The competence of the arbitral tribunal to decide over a legal dispute between the parties is defined by the arbitration agreement. A legal issue that was entrusted to the arbitral tribunal can no longer be sbumitted to national courts, as the parties opted to go to arbitration in order to settle their dispute.

The outcome of arbitration is an arbitral award that is final and binding upon the parties in the same manner as the final and enforceable court decision is. Furthermore, the parties are free to enforce an arbitral award as any other court decision within regular enforcement proceedings. Business entities frequently opt for arbitration due to its efficiency and expediency, as well as the fact that they can choose a person who would be sitting in the arbitral tribunal. This way, the parties can appoint a professional, dedicated and responsible individual to act as an arbitrator. Added value in international disputes stems from the fact that arbitrators can be nationals of third states, which further ensures their neutrality and impartiality in relation to the parties.

Moreover, unlike court decisions, arbitral awards rendered by tribunals seated in Serbia can be fully enforced in almost all the countries in the world having in mind that Serbia is a state party to the New York Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards that was signed and ratified by 149 states.

Arbitration in Serbia has a long standing tradition of almost one hundred years. Taking into consideration disputes that arose after the Law on Arbitration was passed in 2006, more than 250 parties from around the world took part in international commercial arbitration on the territory of Serbia – predominantly companies from Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czechs Republic, Cyprus, Macedonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Montenegro, Netherlands, Romania, Turkey, Switzerland, Russian Federation, Ukraine, UK and USA.