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Arbitral proceedings

Starting an arbitration proceeding
What is needed to commence arbitration?

This depends on the arbitration agreement. If the agreement does not govern the initiation of proceedings, the arbitration is considered commenced when the defendant is notified that the dispute will be tried by arbitration.  

Limitation periods
Are there any limitation periods for the commencement of arbitration?

No.

Procedural rules
Are there any procedural rules that arbitrators must follow?

Arbitral proceedings must be carried out as set out in the arbitration agreement and in accordance with the Arbitration Act. However, the act contains few specific procedural rules. Within the boundaries of the act and the arbitration agreement, the proceedings will be carried out as the tribunal deems appropriate. Arbitration in Norway tends to rely on the Dispute Act 2005, which governs civil procedure in Norway.  

Dissenting arbitrators
Are dissenting opinions permitted under the law of your jurisdiction?

The arbitral award is decided by majority rule. If the decision is not unanimous, it must state who is dissenting and on which issues. This does not apply if the arbitration agreement states otherwise. 

Judicial assistance
Can local courts intervene in proceedings?

Arbitral tribunals or the parties can ask the local courts to intervene in proceedings on specific issues set out the Arbitration Act. 

Can the local courts assist in choosing arbitrators?

If the appointment of an arbitral tribunal cannot be agreed, the parties can demand that the local courts appoint the arbitrators.

What is the applicable law (and prevailing practice) where a respondent fails to participate in an arbitration? Can the courts compel parties to arbitrate? Can they issue subpoenas to third parties?

If the respondent fails to submit a defence without reasonable cause, the arbitral tribunal will continue the proceedings. Failure to submit a defence will not be deemed an acceptance of the claimant's claim. If the respondent does not appear at the hearing or fails to submit evidence, the tribunal may decide the case based on the facts at hand. The arbitral tribunal and local courts cannot compel the parties to cooperate. 

Third parties
In what instances can third parties be bound by an arbitration agreement or award?

A third party can be bound by an arbitration agreement if the subject matter of the agreement is transferred to such third party. Further, third parties can in some instances be bound by an arbitration agreement if they make direct claims against one of the parties to the agreement based on the agreement.  

According to Norwegian rules on the binding force of judgments, arbitral awards are binding on third parties to the extent that they, because of their relationship with the parties, would have been bound by an equivalent agreement regarding the subject matter of the award.

Default language and seat
Unless agreed by the parties, what is the default language and location for arbitrations?

The arbitral tribunal decides the language and location of the arbitration, unless otherwise agreed by the parties. 

Gathering evidence
How is evidence obtained by the tribunal?

The parties submit relevant evidence to the arbitral tribunal. The arbitral tribunal (or the parties with the tribunal's acceptance) can request the local court's assistance in taking or hearing evidence.

What kinds of evidence are acceptable?

All kinds of evidence are acceptable. The arbitral tribunal can refuse evidence that obviously has no significance to the case, and it can limit the production of evidence so that there is a reasonable relationship between the amount of evidence and the significance that the dispute has for the parties.

Confidentiality
Is confidentiality ensured?

Arbitral proceedings and awards are not subject to confidentiality, unless the parties agree otherwise. 

Can information in arbitral proceedings be disclosed in subsequent proceedings?

Yes. 

Ethical codes
What ethical codes and other professional standards, if any, apply to counsel and arbitrators conducting proceedings in your jurisdiction?

No specific ethical codes apply to arbitrators in Norway. Counsel is usually an attorney, who is bound by the applicable codes of ethics. 

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