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Legal framework

National arbitration laws

What legislation applies to arbitration in your jurisdiction?

The main body of law applicable to arbitration is set out in the Code of Civil Procedure, which came into force on February 15 2013. Domestic voluntary arbitration is regulated in Book IV of the Code of Civil Procedure, while Title IV of Book VII sets out specific legal provisions addressing international arbitration and the effects of foreign arbitral awards.

Mandatory laws

Are there any mandatory laws?

The arbitration law contains predominantly suppletive (rather than mandatory) provisions. This is in line with the freedom to arbitrate and party autonomy, which are pillars of private voluntary arbitration under the Code of Civil Procedure.

However, in some respects parties’ freedom is limited in favour of public policy, mandatory provisions and ethics. For instance, in ad hoc arbitrations organised by the parties themselves, they are free to agree rules regarding the constitution of the arbitral tribunal, disqualification/removal of arbitrators, procedural rules to be applied by the arbitral tribunal (including potential preliminary proceedings), the allocation of costs and any other rules that may govern the arbitration, as they see fit, and tailor these rules to their specific needs, but subject to public policy, mandatory provisions of law and morals.

There are certain validity requirements that apply as mandatory rules (eg, regarding the written form of the arbitration agreement, regarding the arbitrability). In addition, while the parties are to a large extent free to organise the arbitral process as they see fit, the law imposes certain fundamental principles from which no derogation is permitted (eg, the right to be heard, right to an adversarial trial and the parties’ equal treatment). The parties cannot waive in their arbitration agreement the right to challenge the arbitral award before the state courts (on the grounds for challenge provided in the Code of Civil Procedure).

New York Convention

Is your country a signatory to the New York Convention? If so, what is the date of entry into force?

Romania ratified the New York Convention in 1961 and it came into force in Romania on July 24 1961.

Are there any reservations to the general obligations of the convention?

Romania reserved the right to apply the convention only to:

  • the recognition and enforcement of awards made in the territory of another contracting state; and
  • differences arising from legal relationships – whether contractual or not – that are considered commercial under the national law.

Since the new Civil Code came into force in October 2011, given the absence of a specific body of law regulating commercial relationships, the concept 'commercial' should be construed broadly in the context of international arbitration, with a view to encompassing relationships that are commercial in nature (whether contractual or not).

In addition, regarding awards made in non-contracting states, Romania reserved the right to apply the convention only to the extent to which those states grant reciprocal treatment.

Treaties and conventions

What other treaties and conventions in relation to arbitration is your jurisdiction party to?

Since 1963 Romania has been a contracting state to the 1961 (Geneva) European Convention on International Commercial Arbitration.  Romania is a contracting state to the 1965 Washington Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of other States). 

UNCITRAL

Has your jurisdiction adopted the UNCITRAL Model Law?

Romania does not have legislation based on the UNCITRAL Model Law; however, the arbitration law follows the spirit of the Model Law, although it cannot be regarded as a general rule. 

Reform

Are there any impending plans to reform the arbitration laws in your jurisdiction?

No reforms or significant changes are expected in the near future, as the applicable legislation is relatively recent – the new Code of Civil Procedure was enacted on February 15 2013. Discussions are ongoing around the need to broaden the scope of arbitrability of disputes. 

Arbitration agreements

Validity

What are the validity requirements for an arbitration agreement?

Under Romanian law, a valid arbitration agreement must be in written form. However, the Code of Civil Procedure sets a broadly construed ‘written form’ requirement for arbitration agreements, to the effect that an agreement to arbitrate may be reached following an exchange of correspondence or an exchange of procedural acts (on or after the commencement of arbitral proceedings). For the purposes of international arbitration, the law provides that the written form of the arbitration agreement can be satisfied by telegram, telex, telecopier, email or by any other means of communication that allows it to be evidenced by text.

The code provides that an arbitration agreement should be authenticated by a notary public if it refers to disputes regarding the transfer of ownership rights and/or other rights over real estate. Non-compliance with this formal requirement leads to the absolute nullity of the arbitration agreement. This legal provision has been heavily criticised since the code entered into force and it is expected to be repealed. This rather peculiar provision does not apply to international arbitration agreements.

As to substantive requirements, under Romanian law the arbitration agreement must fulfil the prerequisites for the valid conclusion of any binding agreement. In addition, the disputes must be arbitrable. For the purpose of international arbitration, as regards the capacity of states and state entities to enter into arbitration agreements, Romanian law and case law follow the approach of the 1961 Geneva Convention, preventing states and state-controlled entities to rely on their own law to defeat a freely concluded arbitration agreement.  

In general, Romanian law opts for flexibility with regard to the substantive requirements of arbitration agreements in international arbitration, by recognising their validity provided that they comply with one of the following laws:

  • the law designated by the parties;
  • the law that governs the subject matter of the dispute;
  • the law governing the contract that contains the arbitration agreement; or
  • Romanian law. 

Enforcement of agreements

How are arbitration agreements enforced in your jurisdiction? What is the attitude of the national courts towards arbitration agreements?

The national courts in Romania recognise and enforce valid arbitration agreements. According to publicly available records, in Romania there have been no successful anti-arbitration injunctions or other similar proceedings suppressing the effects of arbitration agreements.

One particularity is that, according to the Code of Civil Procedure, a court seized of a dispute governed by an arbitration agreement shall decline jurisdiction if at least one of the parties invokes the agreement to arbitrate. However, the court shall maintain jurisdiction if the defendent submits its defence on the merits of the dispute without making any reservations with respect to the arbitration agreement.

Consolidation

Can an arbitral tribunal with its seat in your jurisdiction consolidate separate arbitral proceedings under one or more contracts, and, if so, in what circumstances?

Although the arbitration law does not exclude the consolidation of arbitral proceedings, it makes no specific provision for it. The traditional view is that the parties’ consent is required for the consolidation of separate arbitral proceedings where the arbitral tribunals are constituted of different arbitration panels. Otherwise, constitution of the arbitral tribunal may be considered to breach the arbitration agreement. 

Choice of law

How is the substantive law of the dispute determined? Where the substantive law is unclear, how will a tribunal determine what it should be?

The arbitral tribunal applies the substantive law designated by the parties. If no law has been designated, the arbitral tribunal applies the law that it considers to be proper based on the merits of the dispute. In all cases, the arbitral tribunal shall take account of trade usage and professional rules. 

An arbitral tribunal may decide ex aequo et bono only if the parties have expressly authorised the arbitral tribunal to do so.

Separability

Are there any provisions on the separability of arbitration agreements?

The Code of Civil Procedure expressly provides for the separability of arbitration agreements, to the effect that the validity of the arbitration clause is independent from the validity of the contract containing it.

Multiparty agreements

Are multiparty agreements recognised?

Multiparty agreements and multiparty arbitrations are generally recognised under the arbitration law. However, the legislation also ensures the privity of the arbitration agreement, to the effect that it is generally limited to the parties alone. Multiparty arbitration is recognised provided that the parties to arbitration are bound by an agreement to arbitrate. As per express legal provisions, the joinder is permitted provided that the third party and all of the parties to arbitration give consent to the joinder. 

Arbitral tribunal

Criteria for arbitrators

Are there any restrictions?

Under the arbitration law, any person with the capacity to contract may serve as an arbitrator, independent of other criteria (eg, nationality). If the parties agree to arbitrate under the purview of The Court of International Commercial Arbitration attached to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania, they must check the specific requirements set out in the regulations of this arbitral institution.

Contractual stipulations

What can be stipulated about the tribunal in the agreement?

The parties may include in their agreement stipulations as to the composition of the arbitral tribunal, the procedure for appointing the arbitrators and the termination of the arbitrators’ mandate.

Default requirements

Are there any default legal requirements as to the selection of a tribunal - for example, concerning the number of arbitrators or their characteristics?

The parties are free to agree whether disputes should be submitted to a sole arbitrator or an arbitral tribunal; however, an arbitral tribunal must comprise an odd number of arbitrators. If the parties fail to agree, there will be three arbitrators: each party can appoint one arbitrator, and those two arbitrators shall appoint a presiding arbitrator. Where there are multiple claimants or respondents and the dispute is referred to three arbitrators, the claimants jointly and the respondents jointly shall each appoint one arbitrator. An arbitration agreement shall be null and void if it allows a party to appoint more than one arbitrator. 

Challenging the appointment of an arbitrator

Can the appointment of an arbitrator be challenged? Can an arbitrator be disqualified? What is the procedure for this?

The parties are free to agree on a procedure for the challenge of arbitrators. In the absence of an agreement, the court shall decide on the challenge. However, if the arbitration agreement provides for institutional arbitration, the rules of the arbitral institution will govern the whole process and – in the majority of cases – will cover any issues related to the challenge of arbitrators. An arbitrator may be challenged if:

  • he or she does not possess the qualification agreed by the parties;
  • there are circumstances that constitute grounds for disqualification according to the procedural rules for arbitration agreed by the parties or applied by the arbitral tribunal; or
  • there are circumstances giving rise to justifiable doubts as to his or her impartiality or independence.

A party may challenge an arbitrator who it has appointed only if it becomes aware of reasons to challenge after the appointment, and provided that such reasons for challenge are notified to the arbitral tribunal and to the other party without delay. 

Jurisdictional objections

How should an objection to jurisdiction be raised?

The default rule provided by the law is that any jurisdictional objections must be raised in the statement of defence, or at least no later than at the first hearing date the party was given notice of, unless the agreement sets a different time limit. 

Replacement of an arbitrator

Why and how can an arbitrator be replaced?

Pursuant to the Code of Civil Procedure, the arbitrator may be replaced if:

  • he or she is successfully challenged;
  • the appointment is revoked (by parties’ agreement on the termination of his or her mandate); or
  • he or she has withdrawn from the case, has died or is otherwise prevented from serving, and the substitute arbitrator (if appointed) also cannot serve in the case.

Powers and obligations

What powers and obligations do arbitrators have?

Arbitrators enjoy the powers agreed by the parties (eg, the power to determine the procedural rules applicable in the proceedings), but subject to the limitations provided under the arbitration law, where applicable. Regarding the powers conferred by law, an arbitrator can:

  • decide on his or her own jurisdiction;
  • assess the case according to his or her “intimate conviction” (nevertheless the arbitrator shall apply the law, unless the parties have expressly authorised a decision ex aequo et bono);
  • determine the place of arbitration and the law applicable to the substance of the dispute, unless agreed by the parties;
  • determine the language of arbitration, in certain circumstances and unless agreed by the parties.

Similarly, the arbitrators’ obligations may be agreed in the arbitration agreement, subject to the limitations imposed by law. Regarding statutory duties, an arbitral tribunal is obliged to determine a dispute within 12 months of its constitution (although this time limit may be readjusted). Further, the arbitrator has a duty to act impartially and independently, and must disclose any circumstances that may prevent him or her from doing so.

Liability of arbitrators

Are arbitrators immune from liability?

Arbitrators are generally immune from liability in respect of decision making, considering their power to assess the case according to their “intimate conviction”. The Code of Civil Procedure provides expressly for their liability in case of:

  • withdrawal from serving in the case without a justified reason;
  • failure to participate in the examination of the case;
  • failure to render the award within the established time limit;
  • failure to comply with the duty of confidentiality; and
  • breach of their other duties, intentionally or by reckless negligence.

In these cases, the arbitrator bears civil liability for the damage incurred as a result of his or her failure. 

Communicating with the tribunal

How do the parties communicate with the tribunal?

The default rule, according to the Code of Civil Procedure, is that the service of summons, hearing reports and arbitral awards, as well as the submission of evidence, should be carried out by registered post; whereas communications regarding measures conducted by the arbitral tribunal may be carried out by fax, email or any other means of communication that ensures transmission and confirmation of receipt. In international arbitration proceedings the parties can address the issue of communication with the tribunal in the arbitration agreement or confer on the tribunal the power to determine specific procedures, provided that any procedural rules comply with due process. 

Reaching decisions

Is unanimous agreement of the tribunal required? If there is disagreement, does the will of the majority suffice? What are the implications of this?

The arbitral tribunal makes decisions by a majority of the arbitrators. If an arbitrator dissents from the award, he or she shall issue a reasoned separate opinion. Disagreements during deliberation, even if an arbitrator issues a separate opinion, have no direct practical implications. 

Arbitrability

Are there any disputes incapable of being referred to arbitration?

Regarding international arbitration, a dispute can be referred to arbitration provided that:

  • it is of a patrimonial nature;
  • it deals with rights of which the parties may freely dispose (this excludes, among others, disputes over personal civil status and capacity, inheritance and family disputes and labour disputes); and
  • it falls outside the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts pursuant to the law of the seat of arbitration.

While the procedural rules regulating domestic proceedings may still occasionally raise questions regarding the capacity of public and state-owned bodies to conclude arbitration agreements, no such limitations are imposed in respect of international arbitration. Thus, in international arbitration, the states and state-controlled entities may not seek to evade arbitration to which they have previously agreed, by invoking internal law provisions that purport to prohibit entering into arbitration agreements.

Can the arbitrability of a dispute be challenged?

The arbitrability of the dispute can be challenged before the arbitral tribunal and also constitutes grounds to set aside arbitral awards rendered in non-arbitrable disputes. Inarbitrability can likewise be raised to resist the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards.

Jurisdiction and competence-competence

Is the principle of competence-competence recognised in your jurisdiction? Can a party to an arbitration ask the courts to determine an issue relating to the tribunal’s jurisdiction and competence?

The principle of competence-competence is fully recognised under Romanian arbitration law. Once a dispute has been referred to arbitration, the arbitral tribunal is competent to decide on its own jurisdiction – and will do so even if identical disputes are pending before the courts or other arbitral tribunals, except if the arbitral tribunal finds it appropriate to suspend the proceedings.

Further, the arbitral tribunal’s ruling that it has jurisdiction may not be challenged before the courts during the arbitral proceedings. Such decision may be subject to judicial review by state courts only during an action to set aside the final arbitral award.

Therefore, the arbitration law provides no procedural grounds allowing a party to ask the courts, during the arbitral proceedings, to determine whether an arbitral tribunal has jurisdiction. Nevertheless, a state court seized of a dispute in relation to which there is an arbitration agreement shall decline jurisdiction only if at least one of the parties invokes the agreement to arbitrate.

Arbitral proceedings

Starting an arbitration proceeding

What is needed to commence arbitration?

In order to commence arbitration a party must submit to the arbitral tribunal its written request for arbitration. If the parties have agreed on ad hoc arbitration, the first step is to establish the composition of the arbitral tribunal. If the composition is not stipulated in the arbitration agreement, the party requesting arbitration shall invite the other party in writing to proceed with the procedure to appoint the arbitrators. Where the arbitration is held under the purview of an arbitral institution, the parties shall follow the procedural rules of that institution. In the majority of cases (including before The Court of International Commercial Arbitration attached to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania), the party which wishes to commence arbitration must first file the request for arbitration with the secretariat of the arbitral institution. A fixed filing fee is generally required. 

Limitation periods

Are there any limitation periods for the commencement of arbitration?

The statute of limitation is subject to the determination of the applicable law by the arbitral tribunal. Under Romanian law, the statute of limitation is a matter of substantive law; therefore, where the arbitral tribunal will assess that the statute of limitations is a substantive matter and that the dispute is governed by substantive Romanian law, it may allow any defence regarding the time bar of the claims submitted to arbitration applying the Romanian law on the statute of limitations.

Procedural rules

Are there any procedural rules that arbitrators must follow?

The Code of Civil Procedure provides a general framework of procedural rules for conducting arbitral proceedings. The parties are free to agree on particular procedural rules or to confer such power on the arbitrator, subject to the limitations imposed by public policy, mandatory legal provisions and morals.

Dissenting arbitrators

Are dissenting opinions permitted under the law of your jurisdiction?

Dissenting opinions are permitted under the arbitration law. If an arbitrator dissents from the award, he or she shall prepare a reasoned separate opinion.

Judicial assistance

Can local courts intervene in proceedings?

The local courts can intervene in proceedings in order to perform certain functions of assisting and supervising the arbitration. In this respect, a local court may assist by exercising its compulsion powers to remove any impediments that may prevent arbitration from taking place. For instance, the local court may assist the arbitral tribunal by exercising compulsion or penalising witnesses and experts, or it may order the production of evidence where a party or third party to arbitration refuses production before the arbitral tribunal (and such order is fully enforceable). The local court may also examine a challenge against an arbitrator if the parties fail to agree on a different procedure. 

Can the local courts assist in choosing arbitrators?

Local courts have no prerogative to assist the parties in choosing 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?

The arbitral tribunal cannot compel the parties to arbitrate or third parties to participate or assist in arbitration. Once a dispute has been referred to arbitration, it can examine the case and render an award irrespective of whether one or both parties participate in the proceedings. However, in order to ensure a fair trial, the parties must be notified of the arbitral proceedings. 

Third parties

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

Under Romanian law, the arbitration agreement and the award may not impose obligations on third parties. Debate is ongoing over the extension of the arbitration agreement to non-signatories – for example, following their direct involvement in the negotiation, performance or termination of a contract containing an arbitration clause – but existing law provides no such remedy. Conventional or legal successors of the signatory are generally bound by the arbitration agreement.

Default language and seat

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

Unless agreed otherwise by the parties, the arbitration shall be conducted in the language of the contract underlying the dispute or in an international language determined by the arbitral tribunal. Similarly, barring agreement by the parties in this regard, the place of arbitration shall be decided by the arbitral tribunal.

Gathering evidence

How is evidence obtained by the tribunal?

In general, the default rule is that the parties submit the evidence on which they intend to rely in limine litis (at the start of the procedure). The tribunal can order a party to produce certain evidence; however, in order to seek enforceable measures efficiently, the parties have recourse to local courts, where they can request the court’s order for production.

What kinds of evidence are acceptable?

Under the law the following are accepted as evidence:

  • documentary evidence;
  • parties’ and witness statements;
  • expertise;
  • material means of evidence;
  • on-site investigations; and
  • presumptions.

Confidentiality

Is confidentiality ensured?

The Code of Civil Procedure imposes a confidentiality obligation on the arbitrator, to the effect that the arbitrator may be held liable for disclosing or publishing arbitration information without parties’ permission. There are no other express provisions on confidentiality in the law.

Can information in arbitral proceedings be disclosed in subsequent proceedings?

The arbitration law imposes no express confidentiality obligation on the parties. However, it is widely held that a confidentiality requirement is inherent to arbitration agreements. Against such background, practitioners are inclined to consider that the parties must assess carefully if or how information received in a previous arbitration can be used in subsequent proceedings. Regarding the arbitrators, a confidentiality duty exists for an unlimited period of time and is provided for explicitly, to the effect that the arbitrators may be held liable for any unauthorised disclosure.

When the parties agree to arbitrate under the purview of an arbitral institution, any additional confidentiality requirements provided in that institution’s arbitration rules shall complement the legislative provisions regarding confidentiality. For instance, rules of the Court of International Commercial Arbitration attached to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania provide for the confidentiality of the file, confidentiality imposed on court personnel and a prohibition against publication of the award.

Ethical codes

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

Counsel are subject to the strict requirements under Romanian legislation and codes of conduct regarding lawyers’ practice. Regarding arbitrators, there is no specific body of law or rules regarding their ethical obligations. 

Costs

Estimation & allocation

How are the costs of arbitration proceedings estimated and allocated?

The arbitral tribunal may estimate the costs of arbitration at the outset of the proceedings and request the parties to advance or deposit the amounts in question. It may delay commencement of the proceedings until this is done. Regarding the final allocation of costs, if the parties fail to agree, the default legislative provision for international arbitration proceedings is that each party shall bear the fees and expenses of its appointed arbitrator or, if the dispute is referred to a single arbitrator, they shall split the cost equally. Of course, if the parties agree to arbitrate under the purview of an arbitral institution, it will apply its own set of rules regarding the estimation and allocation of costs. 

Security for costs

Can the national court or tribunal order security for costs under the law in your jurisdiction?

According to the spirit of Romanian law, an order for security for costs is an interim measure and can be granted in practice by arbitral tribunals. However, there is no explicit legal provision in this regard. The courts have not yet established a practice of granting security for arbitration costs

The award

Requirements

What legal requirements are there for recognition of an award? Must reasons be given for the award? Does the award need to be reviewed by any other body?

Domestic arbitral awards are treated and enforced in the same way as court decisions. Foreign arbitral awards are subject to recognition and enforcement proceedings before the Romanian courts.

In order to be granted the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award, the parties must comply with certain formal requirements – they must file a request to this effect before a competent court and attach legalised or apostille certified copies of the translated award and arbitration agreement.

The court charged with hearing a request for the recognition and enforcement of a foreign arbitral award is prohibited from reviewing the merits of the dispute; its examination is limited to the grounds for refusal of recognition and enforcement, as set out in the Code of Civil Procedure. The grounds for refusal of recognition and enforcement of the foreign award provided in the code follow those established in the New York Convention.

Timeframe for delivery

Are there any time limits on delivery of the award?

In domestic arbitration proceedings an arbitral award must be delivered within six months of constitution of the arbitral tribunal. In international arbitration proceedings, this is usually doubled to 12 months. 

Remedies

Does the law impose limits on the available remedies? Are some remedies not enforceable by the court?

The arbitration law imposes no limit on the type of remedies that an arbitral tribunal may award. However, to a large extent the admissibility of the remedies depends on the substantive law applicable to the dispute. Regarding procedural requirements, the arbitral tribunal is bound to assess all the parties’ requests, regardless of the nature of the claim. If the arbitral tribunal applies Romanian procedural law, it may consider a request for a declaratory judgment to be inadmissible to the extent that the claimant can bring an action to enforce its rights. 

What interim measures are available? Will local courts issue interim measures pending constitution of the tribunal?

Before or during arbitral proceedings the local courts may grant, at the parties’ request, security and interim relief measures, as well as acknowledging or ascertaining facts and circumstances. After constitution of the arbitral tribunal, the tribunal may grant the same interim measures and, if necessary, may call on the local courts to assist with enforcement. The arbitration law makes no specific provision for emergency arbitral proceedings, but these may be available under the rules of arbitral institutions insofar as the parties have an agreement to arbitrate under those rules. The existing rules of the Court of International Commercial Arbitration attached to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania make no provision for emergency arbitration.

Interest

Can interest be awarded?

The general rule is that the parties may be awarded pre and post-award interest on request.

At what rate?

If Romanian law applies to the determination of the interest due, the arbitral tribunal may award interest either at the rate contractually agreed by the parties or, failing such agreement, at the rate established in the relevant legal provisions. For international legal relationships, legal interest is currently set at 6% a year.

Finality

Is the award final and binding?

According to the Code of Civil Procedure, once served on the parties an arbitral award becomes final and binding, and is a writ of execution. Arbitral awards rendered in international arbitration proceedings conducted in Romania are also binding and enforceable once served on the parties.

What if there are any mistakes?

An arbitral award may be subject to correction, interpretation and supplementation. Therefore, depending on the type of mistake, the arbitration law provides a procedural remedy.

Can the parties exclude by agreement any right of appeal or other recourse that the law of your jurisdiction may provide?

The parties cannot exclude the right of appeal by agreement before the award is rendered. The law specifically provides that any agreement to the contrary is null and void. However, the parties may waive the right to appeal after the award is rendered.

Appeal

What is the procedure for challenging awards?

An action to set aside the arbitral award may be filed within one month of service of the award on the parties, unless the action relates to a decision of the Constitutional Court, where the time limit is three months after publication of that court’s decision. Certain reasons for setting aside an arbitral award may be deemed waived if they are not raised before the arbitral tribunal at the start of the process (particularly those relating to the jurisdiction and constitution of the arbitral tribunal). An action to set aside is subject to a fixed court fee under the law.

On what grounds can parties appeal an award?

 The parties may file an action to set aside the arbitral award on the following grounds:

  • The subject matter of the dispute was incapable of settlement by arbitration.
  • The arbitration agreement did not exist or was invalid or ineffective.
  • The constitution of the arbitral tribunal was not in accordance with the arbitration agreement.
  • The party requesting the setting aside of the award was not given proper notice of the hearing and was absent when the debate took place.
  • The arbitral award was rendered after expiry of the time limit, even though at least one party submitted its intention to object to the late issuance of the award and the parties opposed the continuation of the proceedings after expiry of the time limit.
  • The award granted beyond the request (ultra petita) or more than was requested (plus petita).
  • The award failed to mention the tribunal’s decision on the relief sought or did not include the reasoning behind the decision, the date and place of the decision or the signatures of the arbitrators.
  • The award violated public policy, mandatory legal provisions or morality.
  • Subsequent to issuance of the final award, the Constitutional Court has declared unconstitutional the legal provisions challenged by a party in the arbitral proceedings or other legal provisions that are closely related to and inseparable from those challenged. 

Enforcement

What steps can be taken to enforce the award if there is a failure to comply?

Domestic arbitral awards, irrespective of whether rendered in international or domestic arbitration, are writs of execution and are enforced in the same way as court judgments. Therefore, the enforcement may be pursued with the assistance of a bailiff. Foreign arbitral awards must first be granted recognition and enforcement by the Romanian courts; the process then follows the same course as other writs of execution.

Can awards be enforced in local courts?

The local courts have jurisdiction to recognise and allow enforcement of foreign arbitral awards. With respect to domestic arbitral awards, enforcement may be pursued with the assistance of the bailiff. The compulsion of the court is required only in limited circumstances, otherwise the bailiff has wide prerogatives to pursue the compliance with the award.

How enforceable is the award internationally?

An arbitral award rendered in Romania is enforceable under the New York Convention and other multiple bilateral conventions ratified in Romania.

To what extent might a state or state entity successfully raise a defence of state or sovereign immunity at the enforcement stage?

In regard to arbitral awards rendered in international arbitration proceedings, a state or state entity cannot raise such a defence. 

Are there any other bases on which an award may be challenged, and if so, by what?

The award may be challenged only by filing an action to set aside. 

How enforceable are foreign arbitral awards in your jurisdiction?

Foreign arbitral awards are subject to recognition and enforcement proceedings before the local courts. These are enforceable under the New York Convention and the Code of Civil Procedure (which is in line with the New York Convention as regards possible grounds for refusal of recognition and enforcement).

Will an award that has been set aside by the courts in the seat of arbitration be enforced in your jurisdiction?

An award that has been set aside by the courts in the seat of arbitration may not be enforced in Romania.

Third-party funding

Rules and restrictions

Are there rules or restrictions on third-party funders?

There are no rules or restrictions in relation to third-party funders.

Class-action or group arbitration

Concept

Is there a concept in your jurisdiction providing for class-action arbitration or group arbitration? If so, are there any limitations to the arbitrability of such claims or requirements that must be met before such claims may be arbitrated?

The arbitration law does not address class action or group arbitration.

Hot topics

Emerging trends

Are there any hot topics or trends emerging in arbitration in your jurisdiction?

International arbitration in Romania continues to show steady growth, despite a slight decline it had experienced a couple of years ago due to the heavily criticised rules of the main Romanian arbitration institution (the Court of International Commercial Arbitration attached to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania), which prohibited for a while the parties from appointing the arbitrators. The return to the traditional approach of party-appointed arbitrators in May 2014, accompanied by a general administrative reform within the institution, has been welcomed as a meaningful contribution to increasing the confidence in arbitration as a viable and attractive means of dispute resolution in Romania. Most recently, the institution, which absorbs the majority of arbitrations seated in Romania, has engaged into a review process aimed at modernising and streamlining its rules. At the same time, the popularity of a choice in favour of international arbitral institutions shows a constant increase across all industries, as more businesses opt for dispute resolution under the major institutional rules.