Arbitration agreements

What are the formal requirements for an enforceable arbitration agreement?

The Arbitration Act does not require a certain form of the arbitration agreement. It can be entered into orally or in writing. In practice, most arbitration agreements are written.

Arbitral procedure

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

The Arbitration Act contains a number of substantive rules for the procedure to be followed. These provisions are only applicable to the extent the arbitration agreement is silent or to the extent the parties cannot agree on the procedure. Section 21 contains the main rule mandating that the arbitral tribunal decides how to handle the case based on what the tribunal deems appropriate. If the parties have not agreed on venue, language, deadlines for filing of the writ of summons, statement of defence, etc, it is within the authority of the tribunal to decide on such matters.


When and in what form must the award be delivered?

The award is rendered after the trial is finished and must always be in writing. There are no rules setting a deadline for when the award must be delivered.

The main rule is that the award is signed by all of the arbitrators. If there is more than one arbitrator it is, however, sufficient that a majority of the arbitrators have signed the award, provided that the reason why the award has not been signed by all arbitrators is given in the award.


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

An award from the arbitral tribunal is final and cannot be appealed, unless otherwise agreed by the parties. The award can, however, be challenged and set aside by the regular courts. Grounds for setting an arbitral award aside are that:

  • one of the parties to the arbitration agreement lacks legal capacity;
  • the arbitration agreement is invalid;
  • the party bringing the action for setting aside the award was not given sufficient notice of the appointment of arbitrator or the arbitration or was not given an opportunity to present his or her views on the case;
  • the award falls outside the scope of the jurisdiction of the tribunal; or
  • the composition of the tribunal or the arbitral procedure was contrary to law or the agreement between the parties, and this has had an impact on the award.

Legal action to set aside an arbitral award shall be brought before the regular courts no later than three months after the party received the arbitral award.


What procedures exist for enforcement of foreign and domestic awards?

Foreign and domestic awards are recognisable and enforceable in Norway and will follow the same procedural tracks as regular court judgments that are enforced. The award will, however, not be recognised and enforced if the dispute could not have been settled by arbitration under Norwegian law, or if recognition and enforcement would be contrary to public policy.