Unlike consumers, traders do not act for private purposes, but within the framework of their professional or commercial activity. They take part in business transactions in order to promote their entrepreneurial activity.
This gives rise to the expectation that entrepreneurs are experienced in business. They are responsible for their own actions, as they have the necessary knowledge and business acumen. They are therefore in a better position to exploit market opportunities and market potential. General terms and conditions primarily meet the needs of business transactions for rationalisation and simplification of mass contracts. Their use is widespread in the entrepreneurial sector, as they help to promote the speedy, uncomplicated and flexible conduct of entrepreneurial business. The choice of arbitration also meets the needs of entrepreneurs. Arbitration offers the parties a wide range of options, which is why it is particularly popular with entrepreneurs. Against this background, the question arises on how to combine general terms and conditions, which intervene with private autonomy in order to guarantee the appropriateness of the general terms and conditions used and the fairness of the contract with arbitration. This is particularly relevant since the latter is based on the broad principle of private autonomy of the parties, which, in business transactions have their own peculiarities.
The relationship between arbitration and GTC-law in business transactions is dealt with in detail in the newly published work “The GTC law in national and international arbitration in business transactions” by Dr. Styliani Ampatzi, LL.M. The dissertation refers to German and Greek law and concentrates on two aspects of the problem identified which are interrelated: First, the relevance of national GTC law in national and international arbitration proceedings based in Germany and Greece is examined. In particular, the question arises as to when the GTC law is applicable to the various statutes that apply within the framework of arbitration and whether parties to arbitration who are entrepreneurs have a possibility to vote out the GTC law. Subsequently, the agreement of arbitration clauses in general terms and conditions will be discussed when applying German or Greek law. Only contracts between entrepreneurs are considered. It is worth noting that the work represents a new approach with regard to the control subjection of GTC arbitration clauses.
As far as the problems identified are concerned, the legal systems of the two countries examined are very similar. Nevertheless, the approach of the national legislator differs in individual points. This is an ideal starting point for analysing the different solutions to the same problem and for achieving the objective of the study in the best possible way. In particular, the work aims to determine, through the analysis and comparison of two similar legal systems, how law best serves entrepreneurs and how arbitration clauses in contracts between entrepreneurs can fulfil their function. In the course of the study, problems as well as dogmatic or practical shortcomings of the two legal systems are identified and solutions are proposed which correspond to the circumstances of each identified legal system. Finally, the aim of the work is to find out whether the legal treatment of arbitration clauses in business contracts justifies the need to reform the law on general terms and conditions. This last question relates in particular to German law, where the need for reform of GTC law is currently the subject of controversial debate in academia and between arbitrators. In this respect, the work deals with questions and problems which had not been dealt with monographically either in Germany or in Greece and thus makes an important contribution to the scientific research of two legal systems.