Arbitration in Serbia

Arbitration represents an alternative to litigation. The parties can agree to arbitrate a dispute that arises out of a domestic or international business transaction or any legal matter in the field of sport, employment or foreign investment. The essence of arbitration lies in the consent of the parties.

The arbitration agreement concluded 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 cornerstone of a successful arbitration lies in the independence and impartiality of arbitrators appointed to settle a dispute. Independent and impartial arbitrators provide a guarantee that the arbitral award will be unbiased and based on law.

Any individual with full legal and business capacity (regardless of age, gender, profession or nationality) can act as an arbitrator. The parties are free to choose members of the arbitral tribunal based on their knowledge, expertise and previous experience in arbitration.

The jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal to decide a legal dispute between the parties is based upon an arbitration agreement. A legal issue that was entrusted to the arbitral tribunal can no longer be submitted 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 a final and enforceable court decision. Furthermore, the arbitral award is enforceable as a court decision in the regular enforcement proceedings. Business entities frequently opt for arbitration due to its efficiency and expediency, as well as the fact that they can choose members of the arbitral tribunal. The parties are free to appoint professional, dedicated and responsible individuals to act as arbitrators. Added value of arbitration in international disputes stems from the fact that arbitrators can be nationals of third states, which further ensures their neutrality and impartiality towards the parties.

Unlike court decisions, arbitral awards rendered by tribunals seated in Serbia are enforceable in almost any jurisdiction in the world thanks to the fact 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 more than 160 states.

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