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Arbitral proceedings

Starting an arbitration proceeding
What is needed to commence arbitration?

In order to commence proceedings, either the parties’ agreement to act according to an arbitration agreement and refer the dispute to an arbitrator or a court order enforcing an arbitration agreement is required.

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

No, but the commencement of arbitration within a reasonable time is assumed to be required. 

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

The parties can agree that the arbitration will be conducted according to the Civil Procedure Code. Otherwise, there is no such obligation, apart from the requirements set out under the Arbitration Act. 

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

Yes. 

Judicial assistance
Can local courts intervene in proceedings?

Yes, at the request of one or more of the parties or the arbitrator. 

Can the local courts assist in choosing arbitrators?

Yes, at the request of the parties or if it is stipulated in the arbitration agreement. 

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 a party to an arbitration agreement refuses to arbitrate, the other party can file a motion with the competent court to enforce the agreement. If a party refuses to appear at the arbitration hearings, the arbitrator can hear the dispute without that party, if advance warning that this will be done is given in person or in writing. Only a competent court can issue subpoenas to third parties to appear in arbitration hearings.  

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

In the case of collective or union agreements, members of the group or union are bound by the arbitration agreement by which the group or union is bound, even if they are not direct signatories to the agreement. Further, the arbitration agreement (and any award which results from it) binds the substitutes, locum tenens or original signatories (eg, inheritors, estate managers, trustees or legal guardians).  

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

The default language is usually Hebrew, and the location is set at the discretion of the arbitrator. 

Gathering evidence
How is evidence obtained by the tribunal?

The arbitrator may instruct the parties to disclose documents and respond to questionnaires and may call or allow the parties to call witnesses and hear testimony, orally or in writing. 

What kinds of evidence are acceptable?

Any kind of evidence is acceptable, as long as none of the parties involved object. Arbitration is not bound by evidence laws. 

Confidentiality
Is confidentiality ensured?

Arbitral proceedings are confidential and are kept confidential after they are finished, unless all the parties agree otherwise or, in specific and unusual cases, by court order.

Can information in arbitral proceedings be disclosed in subsequent proceedings?

Outside specific and unusual circumstances, information in arbitral proceedings cannot be disclosed in subsequent proceedings.  

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

Arbitrators must be impartial and have a duty of fidelity. If an arbitrator is a lawyer or a retired judge, or is part of a formal arbitration institution or another professional union, he or she is bound by the ethical codes of those professions and institutions. Otherwise, no specific ethical code applies.