Arbitration agreements

What are the formal requirements for an enforceable arbitration agreement?

The arbitration agreement must be concluded in writing, otherwise it is deemed to be null. The condition of the written form is considered fulfilled when the referral to arbitration was agreed following an exchange of correspondence, notwithstanding its form, or exchange of procedural deeds. If the arbitration agreement refers to a dispute regarding the transfer of a right to immovable property or regarding the constitution of other real rights over immovable property, then the arbitration agreement has to be concluded in a notarised authentic form under the absolute nullity sanction.

Arbitral procedure

Does the domestic law contain substantive requirements for the procedure to be followed?

Provided that the arbitration clause is valid, there are no other substantive legal requirements for the arbitral procedure.


When and in what form must the award be delivered?

If the parties do not agree otherwise, the arbitral tribunal must render its award within six months of its constitution, under the sanction of caducity of the arbitration (that is, the expiry or nullity of the arbitration proceedings following the lapse of the time allowed for its settlement). The party who intends to invoke such sanction if the arbitration term is not observed must indicate so in writing at the first hearing, or else the caducity sanction will not be applied.

The award must be delivered in a written form, which must be communicated to all the parties involved within one month of its issuance.


On what grounds can an award be appealed to the court?

The grounds for setting aside an arbitral award are limited and mainly regard formal reasons such as the invalidity of the arbitration clause, wrongful constitution of the arbitral tribunal, non-observance of the six-month arbitration term, lack of signature by all the arbitrators, and infringement of public order, good morals or imperative provisions of the law. The court decision rendered following a setting-aside claim can also be further appealed before the superior court of law for formal reasons.


What procedures exist for enforcement of foreign and domestic awards?

Domestic awards can be enforced in the same manner as court decisions. Foreign awards must first follow a special procedure for recognition and enforcement, with the observance of certain formal conditions similar to those provided by the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 1958, including situations in which recognition and enforcement are denied.

Enforcement procedures have not been affected by changes in the political landscape.