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The European Court of Arbitration was established within the European Center for Arbitration and Mediation d’Arbitrage et de Médiation, which since 1959 has been a legal entity, according to Alsace-Moselle law, with its main seat in Strasbourg, France, under the patronage of the Council of Europe and other institutions of prestige from the business and academic community.
The European Court of Arbitration offers well-established national presences in different jurisdictions in the form of the International Registry for Central and Northern Europe and the one for Southern and Eastern Europe, the one for the Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Black Sea, but also in the form of chapters national ones created in 16 countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, including Romania
- Setting up the Romanian Chapter
Since its establishment, the European Court of Arbitration has presented itself as both an international and a domestic arbitration forum with the clear mission of providing arbitration services for the parties and contributing to the promotion of arbitration and mediation.
Through the creation of national chapters, the European Court of Arbitration has succeeded in promoting its services for the administration of domestic arbitration proceedings by involving arbitration professionals familiar with national realities, with a recognized reputation in the promotion of arbitration at national and international level
The Executive Committee of each national chapter is designated by the Executive Committee of the Court, which will define its tasks. The Executive Committee of a National Chapter consists of 5 to 9 members from whom the Court Executive Committee will elect the President. The President of the Executive Committee can take all urgent decisions by himself, subject to ratification by the Executive Committee.
And as far as Romania is concerned, the European Court of Arbitration opts for the same approach by creating a national chapter and appointing in February 2022 an executive committee of the national chapter, made up of 7 members, capable of administering arbitration under Romanian jurisdiction.
- Jurisdiction of the National Chapter
According to the Arbitration Rules adopted by the European Court of Arbitration, national chapters are expressly and exclusively competent to administer domestic arbitration.
In order to delimit the jurisdiction of the National Chapter from that of the Executive Committee of the Court, through its Internal Rules, the European Court of Arbitration considers as domestic arbitrations: proceedings between two or more parties with domicile or citizenship of the same state, taking place in the state mentioned and being governed in addition to the procedural law arbitration rules (lex arbitri) in force in that state, definition in the spirit of Romanian legislation on the matter.
All other proceedings are considered by the Court, by its national chapters and by the parties, to be international and falling within the jurisdiction of the European Court of Arbitration and not the exclusive jurisdiction of the National Chapters.
A Committee consisting of three members shall be formed by the Executive Committee of each National Chapter to appoint arbitrators or mediators in proceedings falling under the jurisdiction of that Chapter, as well as to decide on the confirmation of the appointment of arbitrators or mediators made by the parties.
The Executive Committee of the National Chapter also decides on the request for challenge of the arbitrators made within the arbitration procedures that fall under its jurisdiction.
- Innovative arbitration rules
In 2021, the European Court of Arbitration adopted innovative Arbitration Rules that differ from those adopted by many other arbitral institutions. The rules consider several aspects that increase the efficiency of arbitration procedures by introducing the arbitral tribunal of appeal (art. 24.12 of the Rules) , of the notion of international arbitration (point 3 of the Preamble) and a duration of arbitration proceedings limited to 9 months of arbitration proceedings, with only two possible extensions, each of a maximum of 6 months, granted only if exceptional circumstances arise (art. 24.1. of the Rules ).
Also, the European Court of Arbitration proposes a standard clause with a sole arbitrator, which the parties can fine, in order to make the procedures more efficient.
- The possibility of adopting rules adapted to the National Chapters
The Arbitration Rules – 2021 edition provide in preamble l at point 14 that each National Chapter may modify the arbitration rules of the Court, in order to administer its local internal arbitration proceedings. subject to the prior approval of the Council of the European Arbitration and Mediation Center to be granted when necessary or appropriate.
- Lower arbitration fees than those of other domestic or international arbitration institutions
Like any traditional and experienced arbitral institution, the European Court of Arbitration has also adopted a list of arbitral fees covering administrative fees and arbitrators’ fees depending on the value of the dispute.
On a comparative check using the cost calculator, one could see that the fees charged by the European Court of Arbitration as the price of the arbitration services provided are lower compared to those charged by domestic arbitration institutions, which constitutes a serious competitive advantage.
- The European Court of Arbitration – The Romania Chapter proposes a list of hyperspecialized arbitrators in the fields of Romanian law
Unlike other domestic or international arbitration institutions, the European Court of Arbitration – Romania Chapter comes with a unique offer of hyper-specialized arbitrators who cover at the level of practical and theoretical excellence very specific areas of law, such as: Public-Private Partnerships & Procurement Law Public, Construction Law FIDIC and HG 1/2018, Real Estate Law, Intellectual Property Law, Commercial and Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisitions, Art Law, Competition Law and State Aid, Labor Law, Personal Data Protection & GDPR, Gambling Law , E commerce, Technology & Media, Banking and Finance law, Energy and natural resources law, Restructuring and Insolvency. The arbitrators of the European Court of Arbitration – Romania Chapter are exceptional professionals in the mentioned fields of law and have massive experience on the legal and arbitration services market in Romania and internationally.
- Access of the Spanish business community in Romania to the services of the European Court of Arbitration
In October 2022, the European Court of Arbitration signed together with La Asociación de Empresas Españolas en Rumanía – ASEMER a collaboration protocol for the promotion of arbitration services among the Spanish business community in Romania, which opens the way for ASEMER members to access the services of the European Court of Arbitration, by introducing the arbitration clause in the contracts they conclude according to Romanian law:
Any dispute arising from the relations between the parties to this contract will be settled by an arbitrator who will be chosen in accordance with the Arbitration Rules and the Internal Rules of the European Court of Arbitration which is part of the European Arbitration Center based in Strasbourg, in force at the time of submission of the arbitration request. Adoption of this clause constitutes acceptance of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Arbitration. The seat of arbitration shall be ____. The language of the procedure is ______. the applicable substantive law rules are _______________
The services of the European Court of Arbitration are offered through its website at: https://cour-europe-arbitrage.org/, which is accessible in English, French and starting in October 2022 and in Romanian https ://cour-europe-arbitrage.org/ro/
In the context of world arbitration, the European Court of Arbitration is effectively a transnational court that plays a significant role in Romanian jurisdiction.