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Czech Yearbook International Law

Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1723715

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Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1723715

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Czech Yearbook of International Law Volume I 2010 Second Decade Ahead: Tracing the Global Crisis Editors Alexander J. Bělohlávek

Naděžda Rozehnalová

Professor at the VŠB –TU in Ostrava Czech Republic

Professor at the Masaryk University in Brno Czech Republic

JURIS P UBLISHING

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Questions About This Publication For assistance with shipments, billing or other customer service matters, please call our Customer Services Department at: 1-631-350-2100 To obtain a copy of this book, call our Sales Department: 1-631-351-5430 Fax: 1-631-351-5712 Toll Free Order Line: 1-800-887-4064 (United States & Canada) See our web page about this book: www.jurispub.com

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Layout © Dr. Josef Ženka, 2010 Typeset in the Czech Republic by Dr. Josef Ženka, Prague

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Editorial Board

Helena Barancová Trnava, Slovak Republic

Filip Černý Prague, Czech Republic

Sir Anthony Colman London, United Kingdom

Marcin Czepelak Krakow, Republic of Poland

Jaroslav Fenyk Brno, Czech Republic

Ludvík David Brno, Czech Republic

Karel Klíma Pilsen, Czech Republic

Oskar Krejčí Prague, Czech Republic

Zdeněk Kučera Pilsen, Czech Republic

Petr Mlsna Prague, Czech Republic

Pierre Lalive Geneva, Switzerland

Robert Neruda Brno, Czech Republic

Andrzej Mączyński Krakow, Poland

Monika Pauknerová Prague, Czech Republic

August Reinisch Vienna, Austria

Matthias Scherer Geneva, Switzerland

Michal Tomášek Prague, Czech Republic

Vít Alexander Schorm Prague, Czech Republic

Vladimír Týč Brno, Czech Republic

Jiří Valdhans Brno, Czech Republic

Czech Yearbook of International Law

Advisory Board

Executive Editor Peter Mišúr Prague, Czech Republic

Address for correspondence & manuscripts Czech Yearbook of International Law Jana Zajíce 32, Praha 7, 170 00, Czech Republic

www.czechyearbook.org

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Czech Yearbook of International Law

Impressum

Institutions within Czech Republic participating in the CYIL Project Masaryk University (Brno), Faculty of Law, Department of International and European Law & Department of Constitutional Law [Masarykova univerzita v Brně, Právnická fakulta, Katedra mezinárodního a evropského práva & Katedra ústavního práva] University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Faculty of Law, Department of Constitutional and European Law & Department of International Law [Západočeská univerzita v Plzni, Právnická fakulta, Katedra ústavního a evropského práva & Katedra mezinárodního práva] VŠB – TU Ostrava, Faculty of Economics, Department of Law [VŠB – TU Ostrava, Ekonomická fakulta, Katedra práva] Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Law, Department of European Law & Centre for Comparative Law [Univerzita Karlova v Praze, Právnická fakulta, Katedra evropského práva & Centrum právní komparatistiky] University College of International and Public Relations Prague [Vysoká škola mezinárodních a veřejných vztahů Praha]

Non-academic institutions in the Czech Republic Office of the Government of the Czech Republic, Department of Legislation, Prague [Úřad vlády ČR, Legislativní odbor, Praha]

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Czech Yearbook of International Law

Impressum

Institute of State and Law of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, v.v.i. [Ústav státu a práva Akademie věd ČR, v.v.i.] Arbitration Court attached to the Economic Chamber of the Czech Republic and Agricultural Chamber of the Czech Republic, Prague [Rozhodčí soud při Hospodářské komoře České republiky a Agrární komoře České republiky] ICC National Committee Czech Republic, Commission on Arbitration, Prague [ICC Národní výbor Česká republika, Arbitrážní komise, Praha]

Institutions outside Czech Republic participating in the CYIL Project Austria University of Vienna [Universität Wien], Department of European, International and Comparative Law, Section for International Law and International Relations Poland Jagiellonian University in Krakow [Uniwersytet Jagielloński v Krakowie], Faculty of Law and Administration, Department of Private International Law Slovak Republic Slovak Academy of Sciences, Institute of State and Law [Slovenská akadémia vied, Ústav štátu a práva], Bratislava University of Matej Bel in Banská Bystrica [Univerzita Mateja Bela v Banskej Bystrici], Faculty of Political Sciences and International Relations, Department of International Affairs and Diplomacy Trnava University in Trnava [Trnavská Univerzita v Trnave], Faculty of Law, Department of Labour Law and Social Security Law | | | Proofreading and translation support provided by: Agentura SPA, s. r. o., Prague, Czech Republic. VIII |

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Czech Yearbook of International Law

Contents

Impressum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

VII

List of Abbreviations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

XIII

ARTICLES Naděžda Rozehnalová | Jiří Valdhans A Few Observations on Choice of Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3

Alexander J. Bělohlávek Law Applicable to the Merits of International Arbitration and Current Developments in European Private International Law: Conflict-of-laws Rules and the Applicability of the Rome Convention, Rome I Regulation and Other EU Law Standards in International Arbitration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

25

Marcin Czepelak The Law Applicable to the Contract of Carriage under the Rome I Regulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

47

Helena Barancová Problems of Slovak Labour Law in Relation to Community Law Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

69

Monika Pauknerová Overriding Mandatory Rules and Czech Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

81

Jan Brodec Surmounting the Wall of Legal Entity and Some Aspects of International Private Law in International Insolvency Proceedings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

95 | IX

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Czech Yearbook of International Law

Contents

Petr Dobiáš Principles of European Insurance Contract Law in Comparison with Czech Law on Insurance Contracts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

111

Karel Klíma European Constitutional Law – Anticipated Model or Reality . . . . . . .

127

Petr Mlsna International Treaties in European Law: Dualism versus Monism . . . .

145

Jan Kněžínek State Responsibility for Ensuring the Availability of International Treaties at the National Level . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

159

Michal Tomášek Human Rights as Means of Europeanization of Criminal Law . . . . . . . .

173

Jaroslav Fenyk European Public Prosecutor – A Step towards Mutual Recognition, or Establishment of European Criminal Justice? . . . . . . .

187

Oskar Krejčí Geopolitics and International Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

207

Matthias Scherer Economic or Financial Crises as a Defence in Commercial and Investment Arbitration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

219

CASE LAW Lenka Popovičová | Ladislav Vyhnánek The Constitutional Court and Supreme Court of the Czech Republic in 2008/2009 – Selected Decisions on Issues of International Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

241

Vít Alexander Schorm Examples of the Czech Republic’s Contribution to the Case Law of the European Court of Human Rights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

255

Milan Žondra Reference to Preliminary Rulings Lodged by Czech Courts, 2004 – 2009 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

269

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BOOK REVIEWS Alexander J. Bělohlávek | Arbitration Law and Practice in the Czech Republic (with regard to the arbitration law in Slovakia) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

303

Karel Klíma a kol. | Komentář k Ústavě a Listině . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

305

Petr Mlsna | Jan Kněžínek | Mezinárodní smlouvy v českém právu . . . . . .

307

Alexander Bělohlávek | Římská úmluva/Nařízení Řím I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

309

Jan Azud | Zásady medzinárodného práva . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

311

Czech Yearbook of International Law

Contents

NEWS & REPORTS Centre for Comparative Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

317

Moot Court Competition at Masaryk University . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

323

Investment Arbitration and the Czech Republic: 2009 in Hindsight . . . . .

324

ECHR: “Investment Protection-Adieu…!” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

332

Report: New Czech-Canadian BIT Concluded . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

340

Selected Bibliography of Czech and Slovak Authors for 2009 . . . . . . . . . . .

345

Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

359

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Czech Yearbook of International Law

List of Abbreviations

ABM ASA Bulletin

Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty Bulletin Swiss Arbitration Association

BGHZ

Collection of decisions of the Federal High Court BRD in civil matters Bilateral Investment Treaty

BIT CAT CEE CIA CMP CSSR

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Central and Eastern Europe Central Intelegence Agency České a mezinárodní právo (Czech and International Law) Czechoslovak Socialist Republic

DPG

Defense Planning Guidance

EU EC EC/EU ECHR ECJ ECR EEC EIA ERA ESCS Euroatom (EAEA) EUROJUST EUROSTAT

European union European community European Community/European Union European Court of Human Rights Court of Justice of the European Communities European Court Reports European Economic Community Environment Impact Assessment Academy of European Law European Coal and Steel Community European Atomic Energy Association office for the coordination of international justice cooperation in criminal matters European Statistics Office

FED

Federal Reserve System

GmbHG

German Law on Limited Liability Companies | XIII

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Czech Yearbook of International Law

List of Abbreviations

HL (UK)

United Kingdom House of Lords

IACL IBA ICC ICLQ ICJ ILA ILO IMF IPRax

International Academy of Comparative Law Intrnational Bar Association International Chaber of Commerce International and Comparative Law Quarterly International Court of Justice International Law Association International Labour Organization International Monetary Found Practice of International Civil and Procedural Law

JURIFAST

Association of the Councils of State and Supreme administrative jurisdictions in European union

LCIA

The London Court of International Arbitration

MoMIG

Act on the Modernization of the German Limited Liability Company Law and the Prevention of Misuse

NATO

North Atlantic Treaty Organization

OAPEC O. J. (OJ) OLAF

Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries Oficial Journal of European Communities European Anti-Fraud Office

PCIJ PECL PEICL PIL

Permanent Court of International Justice Principles of European Contract Law Principles of European Insurance Contract Law Private International Law

TFEU

Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

UK UN UNCITRAL UNIDROIT UNTS

United of Kingdom United Nations United Nations Commission on International Trade Law International Institute for the Unification of Private Law United Nations Treaty Series

WTO

World Trade Organization

ZEuP

Journal of European Private Law [Zeitschrift Für Europäisches Privatrecht] German Code of Civil Procedure

ZPO

XIV |

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Law Applicable to the Merits of International Arbitration and Current Developments in European Private International Law: Conflict-of-laws Rules and the Applicability of the Rome Convention, Rome I Regulation and Other EU Law Standards in International Arbitration

Abstract | The determination of the applicable law may never exceed the limits of the contract entered into by the parties and their expectations and legal certainty. This criterion is to be understood as the main dogma. The global financial and economic crisis only confirmed that commercial practices became extremely brutal, and the current global situation confirms that any arbitral or choice-of-forum clause, i.e., an authorisation of the tribunal to choose any law or rules or even principles of law, does not indicate a greater willingness of the parties to settle potential disputes in a  fair manner. The tribunals have to determine the applicable law as a legal system of a  particular country using standard conflictof-laws methods and conflict-of-laws rules as prescribed by applicable lex arbitri or (if authorised by lex arbitri and/ or by the parties themselves) to first determine the relevant choice-of-law methods and rules. They have to reflect on the contract as well as potentially applicable lex arbitri if these contain binding instruction for conflict-of-laws resolution. In respect to the applicability of the Rome I  Regulation in arbitration, the author‘s opinion is that the tribunals must apply it at once if they have to apply particular conflict-of-

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Key words: Arbitration | arbitration clause, choice of forum clause | arbitration agreement | governing law | applicable law | law governing the merits of dispute | place of arbitration | arbitral tribunal | litigation | ICC | LCIA | substantial law | choice of law | private international law | conflict-of-law | subject to dispute | court of arbitration | procedural law, jurisdiction | UNCITRAL | transnational law | equity | ex aequo et bono | lex mercatoria | principles of law Alexander J. Bělohlávek Univ. Prof., Dr. jur. et Mgr., Dipl. Ing. oec/MB, Dr.h.c. Lawyer admitted and practising in Prague/Czech Republic, Senior Partner of the Law Offices Bělohlávek (Prague/Czech Republic; Branch N.J./US), Dept. of Law Sciences Faculty of Economics, Ostrava, Czech Republic (in house); Dept. of Int. and European Law, Faculty of Law, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic (external). Chairman of the Commission on Arbitration ICC National Committee, Arbitrator at the Court of Arbitration attached to the Economic

Czech Yearbook of International Law

Alexander J. Bělohlávek

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Czech Yearbook of International Law

Alexander J. Bělohlávek

laws rules (as adapted by a number of national lex arbitri rules) and such conflict-of-laws rules are those of a country bound by the Regulation. The refusal to apply it would endanger certainty and foreseeability. Nevertheless, the arbitrators might do  so, and they often have to find a more rational and commercially practical approach in interpreting the Regulation. In addition, they often determine the limits of the parties‘ autonomy, which in EC law are in fact (de iure) rather broad. And this occurs even though EU administrative structures usually attempt to subordinate arbitration conducted in EU countries under the ECJ (EU Tribunal) adjudicated standards, which are (in contrast to the Rome I Regulation itself ) not binding for the arbitrators if determining substantial law issues.

| | |

Chamber of the Czech Republic and the Agrarian Chamber of the Czech Republic Prague/ CZ, International Court of Arbitration attached to the Economy Chamber Vienna/ Austria, Int. Arbitration Court attached to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kiev/ Ukraine, etc. Member of ASA, DIS, Austrian Arbitration Association. The First Vice-President of the WJA – the World Jurist Association Washington D.C./USA.

I. Substantive Law Applicable in Arbitration 2.1.

26 |

In almost all international arbitrations the tribunals are confronted with the issue of determining the substantive law governing the merits and/ or the law applicable.1 Regardless of the number of similarities the determination of the applicable law in arbitration is not identical with the determination of contractual conflict-of-laws status in litigation, where the judges are strictly bound by the applicable conflict-of-laws rules (or standards depending on the relevant legal system) as a part of the national law. Arbitration offers, and it has to offer, a far greater flexibility in this respect (and this is also one of the main reasons why arbitration is used on an increasing scale); one of the main criteria used in the choice of law in arbitration is the perspective of “a rational or, if we will, a fair arrangement of relations between the parties,” and to a certain degree the criterion of the “intentions and legitimate expectations of the parties upon conclusion of the contract.” 2

1 Under English law the applicable law is usually used as the proper law of the contract. The term applicable law or governing law in respect to a particular dispute may find a broader context than the proper law. The term applicable law has been defined in English law, for example by Lord Wilberforce in Armin Rasheed Shipping Corp. v. Kuwait Insurance Co. ([1984] AC 50) as the law which governs the contract and the parties. Cf. Andrew Tweeddale & Keren Tweeddale, Arbitration of commercial disputes: international and English Law and Practice 180 marg. 6.02 (2007). 2 Cf. for example, F. La Spada, The Law Governing the Merits of the Dispute and Awards ex aequo et bono, in International Arbitration in Switzerland: A Handbook for Practitioners 130 (G. Kaufmann-Kohler & B. Stucki, eds., 2004).

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2.2.

Therefore, it is common to come across views in the following vein: “Many disputes that are referred to arbitration are determined by arbitral tribunals with no more than a passing reference to the law. They turn on matters of fact: what was said and what was not said; what was promised and what was not promised; what was done and what was not done.” 3 This quotation (and many more could be found) indicates the specific factors that come into play when determining the law applicable to a dispute in arbitration. While ordinary courts are usually obliged to adhere strictly to conflictof-laws rules in relations with an international element, to determine and apply the applicable substantive law status, many arbitration doctrines are based on different or even opposite approaches. These arbitration doctrines stem simply from a greater emphasis on business practices to extremes where the arbitrators refuse to use any regulatory system and try to assess the dispute, for example, in accordance with “transnational rules” or lex mercatoria rules as a supposedly unified system of accepted international practice. The opposite approach is the procedure where the arbitrators, in determining the substantive law,4 are obliged to determine and apply substantive law and follow the same or analogous rules in determining the applicable law which are used in proceedings before courts; in these cases, arbitrators most commonly proceeded in the (not so distant) past in accordance with the lex fori in conflict-of-laws, regardless of the nationality of the parties. Although, even today, the lex arbitri of some states commits arbitrators to the application of the lex fori conflict-of-laws regime,5 it is more common to encounter an approach (clearly due to the contingent influence of the UNCITRAL Model Law, which has become the inspiration for a relatively large swathe of modern national legislation governing arbitration) where the arbitrators remain free to use the conflict rules of their choice6 in determining the applicable law. There are cases of national lex arbitri regulations stipulating that arbitrators have the freedom to determine the applicable law and need not take into account conflicts of law.7

Czech Yearbook of International Law

Law Applicable to the Merits of International Arbitration…

3

Alan Redfern, Martin Hunter, Nigel Blackaby & Constantine Partasides, Law and Practice of International Commercial Arbitration marg. 2.01 (4th ed. 2004). 4 An exact determination specifying the particular legal system will usually be required in ICC arbitration as well. For example, in ICC Case 15471 (unreported) it was found insufficient when the arbitrators came to the conclusion that four particular legal systems might theoretically be applied, and all of them were based on the same principles and standards. 5 For example, Art 37 (2) Czech Act on Arbitration and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards (1994), Art 6-1 (1) of the Norwegian Act on Arbitration (2004), Art 1520 (2) of the Portuguese Code of Civil Procedure referring explicitly to litigation. 6 For example, Art 46(3) English Arbitration Act (1996). 7 Article 187 IPRG Swiss Law on Private International Law provides, for example, that “the arbitral tribunal shall decide a dispute according to the norms of the law chosen by the parties or, failing such choice, according to the law which has the closest connection to the case.” See, e.g., in the same manner Art 1051(1) of the German Code of Civil Procedure and Art 834 of the Italian Code of Civil Procedure.

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Czech Yearbook of International Law

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2.3.

28 |

The author’s opinion is that it is completely inconsistent with the requirements of predictability and legal certainty to use any law or rules or even to apply just the principles of law if not expressly authorised by the parties. The absence of choice made by the parties may not authorise a tribunal to substitute the parties’ autonomy in choosing the applicable law and the determination of the law applicable to the contract (in a  particular dispute) need not exceed the limits of the contract, which means the limits of the substance subject to the dispute.8 Exceeding such limits would cause a  fundamental amendment (novation) or creation of a  completely new contract,9 which theoretically may cast doubt on the jurisdiction of the tribunal (in some disputes) as well. The generally applicable separability of the arbitration clause does not mean that the arbitration agreement as a basis for the jurisdiction of the tribunal exists separately from the merits. On the contrary, each arbitration clause is applicable to a particular substantial relation between the parties determined by the contract entered into by them. The creation of a new contract if applying conflict-of-laws rules or even some legal principles without finding a consistent basis’ in the parties’ contract may therefore negate the tribunal’s jurisdiction. Approaches to this issue are evidently very different, ranging from rules that are hard and fast to some extent, which naturally provide the parties with greater certainty as to the predictability of the outcome when determining the applicable substantive law, to cases of absolute arbitrator discretion when taking into account this issue, which leads to increased demands on the parties regarding the selection of arbitrators they wish to appoint to resolve the dispute. Despite the above, the professional literature agrees that it would be wrong to deduce from this that “international commercial arbitration exists in a legal vacuum,” 10 although the same auMore freedom is given to arbitrators, for example, by Art 603/1,2 of the Austrian Code of Civil Procedure (“law suitable as determined by arbitrators”) and in the same manner, for example, Art 1496 of the French New Code of Civil Procedure, Art 1054(2) of the Netherlands Code of Civil Procedure, etc. Very similar requirements, but which bind arbitrators by particular conflict-of-laws rules, include, for example, Art 28(2) of the Greek Act on International Commercial Arbitration (1999), Art 19(3) of the Ukrainian Act on Arbitration in International Commercial Disputes, and Art 38(2) of the Bulgarian Act on International Commercial Arbitration (1988). 8 See, for example, Compagnie D’Armanent Maritime SA v. Compagnie Tunisienne de Navigation SA [1971] A.C. 572 on p. 603, but the judge in the case cited more in respect to the limits for finding the implied choice of law. Nevertheless, the same conclusion may be reached in a broader sense (generally for Continental purposes as well) if reflecting the meaning of a proper law as the law proper and implied to a particular legal (contractual) relationship and comparing it to the applicable law term from the civil law perspective. 9 For similar arguments regarding the change of contract in determination of the substantial law, but not coming to the same conclusion in respect to potential doubts on jurisdiction, cf A. Redfern, M. Hunter et al. Law and Practice of International Commercial Arbitration 94, marg. 2 – 32 (4th ed. 2004). 10 See, for example, Alan Redfern, Martin Hunter, Nigel Blackaby & Constantine Partasides, Law and Practice of International Commercial Arbi-

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thors also argue that “determining the law applicable to the merits of the case is not bound by any fixed rules.” 11 The vast majority of national laws on arbitration, as well as the rules of permanent arbitration courts or arbitration centres, contain procedures for determining the applicable law and/or assessing the substance of the dispute. It should be noted that they take significantly different approaches, and for the parties the content of these rules may become one of the important criteria for submitting to the jurisdiction of a  particular permanent arbitration court and/or the choice of the seat of arbitration. Nevertheless, the author’s opinion is that the determination of the applicable law may never exceed the limits of the contract entered into by the parties and their expectations and their legal certainty. This criterion is to be understood as the main dogma. The global financial and economic crises only confirmed that commercial practices became extremely brutal and the current global situation confirms that any arbitral or choice-of-forum clause, i.e., an authorisation of the tribunal to choose any law or rules or even principles of law which might be determined as fair and justifiable in view of the arbitrators, cannot guarantee a  greater willingness of the parties to settle potential disputes in a fair manner. In addition, in the author’s view the so-called standards of common and customary principles applied in international commercial practice (for example, the system of transnational law, etc.) never create a closed system applicable to all aspects of the dispute. Furthermore, the practice of particular countries shows that these standards often vary from country to country more than asserted by various commentators supporting the transnational or lex mercatoria systems.

Czech Yearbook of International Law

Law Applicable to the Merits of International Arbitration…

II. Free Choice of Law 2.4.

The basic axiom accompanying arbitration is respect for the will of the parties, coupled with the granting of considerable freedom as regards the parties’ opportunity to influence the proceedings. Even regarding the choice of law, the priority always favours the autonomy of the parties, i.e., their choice of law, which the arbitrators are obliged to respect. Parties are increasingly using the opportunity to determine the legislation of a certain country, or specific rules/laws, governing their mutual relations. With regard to ICC arbitration (for example), of the arbitration claims filed in 2008 the parties agreed on the choice of law in 86.8% of cases, compared

tration marg. 2.02 (4th ed. 2004). 11 Ibidem, marg. 2 – 80, with reference to the ruling in Sapphire International Petroleum Ltd. v. The National Iranian Oil Company, annotated in: 13 ICLQ 1011ff. (1964). Drawing on this ruling, the authors note that unlike a national court judge who is required to comply with the conflict rules of the state in whose name the judge carries out his duties, the arbitrator is not bound by such standards. He must find the common intention of the parties, use the conflict connections generally used in theory and case law and disregard national particularities.

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to (the still large number of ) 77% in 2000.12 The statistics also show that the most commonly chosen substantive law in 2008 was English law with 13% (in 2006 this was Swiss law), followed by Swiss law (9.5%), French law (7.3%), US laws (6.7%), German law (4.8%) and Spanish law (3.1%).13 The reasons leading parties to choose this or that specific law need not be subject to review by arbitrators even if the understanding of parties’ iteration might be very important for an explanation of the contract. Generally, the parties face no restrictions preventing them from choosing law which effectively has nothing to do with the merits of the dispute and the choice of which, at first glance, may seem illogical. Often this is the result (part of the results to be understood in their full complexity) of a very complicated progress in reaching a compromise in negotiation between the parties. Arbitrators are therefore obliged to apply the law chosen, regardless of whether they agree with the choice or whether they consider it appropriate for the legal relationship in question. This has been expressed by the tribunal, for example, in the award in the ICC Case 4145 case (citing) “widely recognized principle of autonomy allows the parties to choose any law to their contract, even if not obviously related with” it.14 By contrast, the tribunals are not entitled to choose any law without reflecting on the contract and without referring to the contract even if the parties declined to choose the applicable law (in an explicit or implicit way), as the arbitrators are not privileged with the same autonomy regarding the determination of the applicable law.

III. Article 17 of the ICC Rules 2.6.

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Throughout its nearly century-long history, ICC arbitration has widely been regarded as one of the most important standard-bearers in international arbitration. According to Art 17 of the ICC Rules,15 “The parties shall be free to agree upon the rules of law to be applied by the arbitral tribunal to the merits of the dispute. In the absence of any such agreement, the arbitral tribunal shall apply the rules of law which it determines to be appropriate.” In its Art. 17(2) the ICC Rules provide (cit.) “In all cases the arbitral tribunal shall take account of the provisions of the contract and the relevant trade usages.” This provision is, of course, open to many interpretations, especially in comparison with the previous version of the rules from 1975. There are views suggesting that the current version (i) allows the use of arbitral choice-of-law methodology from national laws, regard12 Statistical Report for 2008 in 20 ICC Bulletin 12 (2009). Compared to 2000 only 77%, in 2006 84.7%. Cf Michael W. Bühler & Thomas H. Webster, Handbook of ICC Arbitration 237, marg. 17 – 3 (2nd ed. 2008). 13 Ibidem, note 6. 14 Yves Derains & Eric A. Schwarz, A Guide to the ICC Rules of Arbitration 238, Note 100 (2nd ed. 2005). 15 ICC Rules in force since 1 January 1998.

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2.7.

2.8.

less of whether the parties have chosen the applicable law and (ii) provides the arbitral tribunal with the possibility of denationalizing the status of an obligation, which may lead to the application of lex mercatoria or even general principles of law, without the parties having to approve the effect of Art 17(2) of the ICC Rules (1998) expressly or implicitly. According to these views, this regulation allows arbitrators not to extend the application of substantive legal rules of the proper law to an international case when, in view of the characteristics of the transaction, the parties’ legitimate expectations and the parochial nature of such rules – and after having heard the parties in this connection – the arbitral tribunal concludes that it would be inappropriate to have such legal rules apply. Although it is not only possible, but also necessary, to accept the basic thesis that the current ICC Rules for a specific procedure in arbitration for determining the applicable substantive law, which would be unthinkable in the case of ordinary courts, we must unequivocally reject the view that arbitrators are entitled to apply such a procedure regardless of whether the parties themselves made the choice of law. This would undermine one of the main principles of modern arbitration, the autonomy of the parties, which the arbitrators are obliged to accept. The arbitrators are bound by the parties’ choice of substantive law (with the exceptions noted in the section on the choice of law) and no conflict-of-law rules apply here. Unlike in litigation, however, the parties have the opportunity to choose not only the specific national system of law; the liberal approach expressed in the ICC Rules allows the parties to determine the legal standards controlling their mutual obligations.16 The parties may, for example, decide that their mutual relations will be subject to the Vienna Convention on the International Sale of Goods, UNIDROIT principles, or legal principles and/or rules applicable to contractual obligations in the countries [X] and [Y]. They may even apply general principles of international law or the lex mercatoria17 even if the author’s opinion doubts the importance of such a quasi-system as an option to the binding rules of law (whatever the binding nature of the source they might use). If these vague formulations are used, the parties must accept that this choice, in certain cases, may not provide the arbitrators with a  sufficiently defined standard of rules facilitating a decision in all possible disputes that may arise. The parties then bear the risk that the arbitrators will be forced to interpret the actual will of the parties. Regarding the use of so-called transnational rules, there are also views that ICC arbitrators are authorized, unless the parties specify otherwise, to follow such a transnational and functional approach having an impact on the interpretation and, consequently, the application of laws or rules of law of national origin without necessarily advancing the application

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16

William L. Craig, William W. Park & Jan Paulsson, International Chamber of Commerce Arbitration 319 (3rd ed. 2000). 17 Ibidem.

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of lex mercatoria or transnational law as a  proper law.18 According to these views, it is possible to take into account the application of governing law (of national origin), using a functional interpretation, the purpose being so that the same result can be achieved as if the above-mentioned instruments or general principles of law had been applied. This is a highly functional approach which can take account of the international nature of a  legal (contractual) relationship and the legitimate expectations of the parties while applying applicable law. To some extent, there may be a  compromise between increasing pressure on the maximum possible liberalization of arbitration, justified by efforts at reflecting, as much as possible, the parties’ intentions, and the related hazards of blending traditional arbitration with elements of arbitration where the parties authorize the arbitrators to decide on the basis of fairness (as amiable compositeur or ex aequo et bono). This decision-making method is certainly expedient where the parties’ will is unquestionable. But the question is whether, if arbitrators are given the opportunity to exclude the application of legal rules without the parties’ approval, this might lead paradoxically to the unpredictability of decision-making and to actions contrary to the parties’ legitimate expectations. Business practices were used as an appropriate additional means of plugging any gaps in the applicable law by arbitrators in the ICC Case 1472 (1968), in which the tribunal ruled as interpreting the contract to “apply French national law, completed, if necessary, in supplementary fashion, by the rules and usages … applicable to international contracts.” 19 More recent cases might be cited, for example award in ICC Case 8873 (1997).20 In ICC Case 1990 (1972), the tribunal held that, although it had concluded that all issues related to the completion and amendment of the contract, on the basis of external circumstances, could be ascertained by reference to the contract itself, it is nevertheless necessary to refer to the provisions of national law to determine whether the allegations of unfair competition are warranted.21 Although this is undoubtedly one of the key conceptual issues for future arbitration, it is not an issue that is typical for arbitration; the number of cases where the parties choose rules other than those of any of the national legal systems is minimal (in 2008 these represented 3% of contracts22 subject to dispute in ICC arbitration). However, this number does not include cases where transnational law is applied by the arbitral tribu18 Horacio A. Grigera Naón, Choice-of-Law Problems, 289 Recueil des Cours: Collected Courses of the Hague Academy of International Law 279 (2001) and Pierre Mayer, Reflections on the International Arbitrator’s Duty to Apply the Law, 17 Arb. Int. 235, 244 3 (2001). 19 Yves Derains, Le Statute des usages du commerce international devant les juridictions arbitrales, 122 Rev. Arb. 144 (1973). 20 William L. Craig, William W. Park & Jan Paulsson, International Chamber of Commerce Arbitration 331, footnote 38 (3rd ed. 2000). 21 Ibidem, 332, footnote 41. 22 Statistical Report for 2008 in 20 ICC Bulletin 12 (2009).

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nal as part of the applicable substantive law. The parties referred most frequently to the Vienna UN Convention on the International Sale of Goods, which entered into force in more than 70 countries and yet may be understood as one very harmonised source of law of a binding nature (in particular countries equal to such sources as national legislation, but mostly with preferential applicability effect).23 There is no single case reported in the statistics of ICC arbitration for 2008 (and the same holds true when comparing with 2006, for example, etc.) where the parties would refer to or even accept the application of some standards (principles, etc.), which are not accepted by a majority of the international community in a very clear and compact form and content, with clear standards of applicability and adopted in a binding or quasi-binding basis (similar to the legislative process) by the international community or by international organisations supported by a number of countries. Similar statistics, as in ICC arbitration, are available in other fora, too. This demonstrates a clear and definite interest of the parties as participants in international contractual relations to apply binding rules, including binding rules and methods of determination of the law governing their contracts (law applicable to the subject of the particular dispute). This is required due to the necessary certainty of the effects of international transactions. The largest international transactions are currently subject to various audits as a condition precedent to obtaining financing. It would be absurd to assert or to presume that any international lawyer or auditor would not express serious doubts regarding the risks of any larger transaction subject to legal or auditor opinion, if the contract refers to such uncertain or vague substantive law standards, like transnational law or lex mercatoria, which cannot be widely accepted as standardised rules guaranteeing some significant degree of certainty in an international tribunal’s ability to assess the merits. The tendencies of international tribunals to apply such unclear standards are often irresponsible, far removed from contemporary business and financial reality, and often (the author fears) caused by the reluctance of some arbitrators to acquaint themselves with legal systems other than those already familiar to the particular arbitrator(s). The author’s opinion is that the euphoria of ideas having transnational law as internationally applicable standards acceptable for the majority of the international community, and therefore for parties to a particular dispute without being approved by the international community in a qualified manner, like on the basis of international (multilateral) treaties supported by a significant number of countries, is probably over. Its application in the current world is rather dangerous and unsound. Nonetheless, differentiation between the determination of the applicable law or conflict-of-laws rules and methods on the one hand and the interpretation of the applicable law on the other hand is necessary. International standards like transnational law or lex mercatoria principles

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23

Michael W. Bühler & Thomas H. Webster, Handbook of ICC Arbitration 247, marg. 17 – 37 footnote 29 (2nd ed. 2008).

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might still find significant effect when interpreting the law governing contracts24 (subject to dispute, merits) in strongly internationalised business environments as well as in disputes with state party participation. In these cases, significant public interest and (public) international law might often have an effect, even if the transaction subject to a particular dispute enjoys a typical private law nature. 2.10. In view of the importance of the rules to be applied by arbitrators in assessing a dispute, arguments have been raised by parties to proceedings in which they seek the issue of a partial ruling in a specific matter and this fact is then based on certainty. In these cases, the parties evidence that they are encumbered by the burden of presenting the case without being able to substantiate their position with coherent arguments within the meaning of the applicable substantive law. Nevertheless, these requests tend to be rejected by arbitrators, as can be seen, for example, in the ICC 5103 award of 1988.25 2.11. As previously mentioned, Art 17 of the ICC Rules only became effective in 1998. For example, before 1975 the ICC Rules did not contain any conflictof-laws rules. The general practice at this time was to usually apply lex fori conflict rules by analogy with litigation before the courts.26 This concept was adopted in a resolution of the Institute of International Law in 1957.27 As early as 1961, however, arbitrators were granted the discretion to decide of which conflict-of-laws rules it would be most appropriate to apply in specific cases (see Article VII(1) of the European Convention on International Commercial Arbitration).28 Within the framework of ICC arbitration, the standards for determining the applicable law have been liberalized by Article 13(3) of the ICC Rules of 1975 obviously under the influence of the European Convention (1961).29 However, it was only possible to select 24

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The majority of renowned commentators are speaking about the extraordinary application of other than binding standards and rules primarily reflecting principles of equity. Cf Alan Redfern, Martin Hunter & al. Law and Practice of International Commercial Arbitration 93, marg. 2 – 31 (4th ed. 2004) and others. It has to be noted that the commentators, which will often be referred to if trying to apply some non-binding standards, are talking about the use of such standards in respect to the interpretation of legal status and the applicable law (in terms of equality, etc.) and not in respect to determination of the applicable law and the duty to apply the law governing the merits by international tribunals. The confusion of these two practices on principle distinct levels is nothing but prepensive misinterpretation. 25 William L. Craig, William W. Park & Jan Paulsson, International Chamber of Commerce Arbitration 320, footnote 2 (3rd ed. 2000). 26 By the way, a number of national leges arbitri still refer to this approach. Cf Art 37(2) of the Czech Act on Arbitration and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards (1994), Art 6-1(1) of the Norwegian Act on Arbitration (2004), and Art 1520(2) of the Portuguese Code of Civil Procedure referring explicitly to litigation. Nevertheless, this approach might be qualified currently as a minority and rather exceptional. 27 William L. Craig, William W. Park & Jan Paulsson, International chamber of Commerce Arbitration 321, footnote 38 (3rd ed. 2000). 28 Ibidem, 311, footnote 4. 29 Ibidem, 332.

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a specific national law; the application of so-called transnational rules was not an option. This liberalization can be attributed, to some extent, to an awareness of the potentially unintended consequences of lex fori. Assuming that no agreement was reached by the parties on the seat of arbitration, and this was thus established by the ICC, it was not unusual for the selected location to have no relation at all to the subject matter of the dispute. The application of the conflict rules in force here could potentially lead to the determination of applicable law which neither of the parties intended. Professor E. J. Cohn, in the notes to the ICC Rules of 1955, used the example of a dispute between German and English trading companies who had signed a contract which contained neither a determination of applicable law nor an agreement on the seat of arbitration, which was ultimately a city in Switzerland. The application of Swiss conflict rules would determine German law as the applicable law, while using the standards of private international law of both parties would necessarily lead to English law being determined as the applicable law. In such exceptional cases, Professor Cohn indicated, arbitrators should be granted flexibility in the use of conflict rules which are common to the national legal systems of the parties.30 2.12. Before the adoption of the current ICC Rules of 1998, voices were raised rejecting the analogy with the ordinary courts and an arbitrator’s obligation to apply lex fori. The position of the arbitrators holding this opinion is best illustrated by a decision in a 1970 case heard by the tribunal in ICC Case 1689: The rules determining the applicable law vary from one country to another. Judges derive in them (court) litigation from their own national legislation, the lex fori. An arbitral tribunal however has no lex fori in the strict sense of the word,31 particularly when the arbitration case is of an international nature by virtue of the object of the dispute, the choice of the arbitrators, and the organization itself which supervises the arbitration, in this instance the International Chamber of Commerce.32 The same issue is addressed by Pierre Lalive (here in the capacity of a single arbitrator) in the award ICC Case 1512 of 1971, stating that “The international arbitrator does not dispose of any lex fori from which he could borrow rules of conflicts of laws.” 33, 34 Current practice provides arbitrators 30 Ernst J. Cohn, The Rules of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce, 14 ICLQ 132, 162 (1965). 31 By contrast the view of other commentators to the author’s opinion is that the arbitral tribunal is a forum and that it is a forum in arbitration determined by the seat of arbitration. Nevertheless, for the purposes of this paper it is possible to distinguish between a forum in a broader sense (including arbitration and arbitral tribunals empowered to adjudicate disputes in contradictory proceedings) and a  forum in stricto sensu as a court authority in litigation. 32 William L. Craig, William W. Park & Jan Paulsson, International Chamber of Commerce Arbitration 332 – 323 (3rd ed. 2000). 33 Ibidem, 333. 34 Cited in William L. Craig, William W. Park & Jan Paulsson, International Chamber of Commerce Arbitration 322 (3rd ed. 2000). The arguments in favour

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with considerable leeway in terms of determining the applicable law, and virtually no uniform rules exist to guide arbitrators. The national legislation of most European countries also gives arbitrators the option of choosing the rules of conflict that will form the basis for the determination of the applicable substantive law. However, there are also countries, even today, that bind arbitrators to apply their conflict-of-laws rules enshrined in private international law. Examples include the Czech Republic35 and Norway.36

IV. Other International Rules 2.13. Provisions similar to those in the case of the ICC Rules can be found in Art 22 (3) of the LCIA Rules (cit.) “The Arbitral Tribunal shall decide the parties’ dispute in accordance with the law(s) or rules of law chosen by the parties as applicable to the merits of their dispute. If and to the extent that the Arbitral Tribunal determines that the parties have made no such choice, the Arbitral Tribunal shall apply the law(s) or rules of law which it considers appropriate.” For comparison it is possible to mention Art 22 (1) of the SCC Rules, under which (cit.) “The arbitral tribunal shall decide the merits of the dispute on the basis of the law or rules of law agreed upon by the parties. In the absence of such agreement, the arbitral tribunal shall apply the law or rules of law which it considers to be most appropriate.” 2.14. There is also room to reflect on the expectations of the parties under certain international standards. For example, the parties’ expectations and their impact on the determination of the applicable substantive law used to assess the merits of the dispute are explicitly mentioned by the Recommendations of the International Law Association of 2008

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of the private-law status of arbitrators and the refusal to align their position with the national judges on the seat of arbitration has been discussed by Pierre Lalive, Les Règles de conflits de lois appliquées au fond du litige par l’arbitre international siégeant en Suisse, Rev. Arb. 155, 159 (1976). This is, however, a question of how fairly it may apply today as this opinion, which certainly reflects some important opinions of a large part of the arbitration community at that time, was given more than three decades ago. The author of this article particularly does not wish to negate the significance of the mentioned theories in the relevant periods of time. However, he would rather express a significantly different opinion at the present, due to the mounting need for a very high degree of certainty in recent years. 35 Act on Arbitration and the Enforcement of Arbitral Awards (1994) No. 216/1994) Coll. – Section 37(2) (cit.) Failing any designation of the substantive law by the parties under Paragraph (1), the arbitrators shall apply the law determined by the conflicts of laws rules in effect in the Czech Republic. 36 Norwegian Arbitration Act (2004): Section 6-1(2) (cit.) Application of the law: Failing any designation by the parties, the arbitral tribunal shall apply Norwegian conflicts of laws rules.

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(ILA Recommendations).37 According to these recommendations, arbitrators must proceed in a way that is fair to the parties, taking account of the parties’ expectations. Arbitrators should therefore take into account the fact that the conflict-of-law rules otherwise applied in court litigation often are not appropriate for arbitration. On the other hand, the ILA Recommendations clearly do not support the hypothetical choice of law, as they stress that the parties’ expectations should be assessed on the basis of their autonomy displayed in a certain qualified form.38 Arbitrators should by no means, on the basis of such assessments, arrive at a conflict solution unexpected by the parties.39 The author does not cast doubt on the significance of such international initiatives like ILA or IBA. The very compromise nature of the relevant recommendations, caused by the necessity of reaching a generally acceptable formulation first within drafting committees (or other task forces, bodies, etc.) and strongly influenced by the particular personalities of their members or often by general reporters having to summarise and generalise sometimes very different opinions, however, may often devalue such recommendations as a predominant reference in the relevant international legal community. Therefore, a critical, but still (surprisingly) relatively restrained, IBA opinion was given regarding the Commission’s (EC) bill for amendment to the Brussels I Regulation, when the majority of the national opinions were (for the author surprisingly, as well) substantially more critical (Czech Republic,40 Germany, France, Italy, The Netherlands, and the UK).41 The author, who refused 37 ILA – International Law Association Resolution No. 6/2008 of 21 August 2008 concerning the ILA Recommendations on ascertaining the contents of the applicable law in international commercial arbitration. 38 ILA Recommendation No. 4. 39 ILA Recommendation No. 9 and No. 15. 40 See study Czech Republic Report, Questionnaire No. 3: Legal Problem Analysis, JLS/C4/2005/03. 41 As one would expect, the British Report (UK) repudiates an expansion of the scope of application of the Brussels I Regulation to include arbitration. According to this national report, any such expansion would render the proper applicability of the New York Convention impossible. (This author even believes that in such a case, the system – which was introduced by the New York Convention with undeniable success – would essentially disintegrate.) At the same time – and this, too, was to be expected – the British Report takes the opportunity to raise the issue of the recognition of anti-suit injunctions, a  typical institution of common law that has continuously been rejected by the ECJ, insofar as their subjugation to the Brussels I Regulation is concerned. The British Report specifically mentions the ECJ decisions in the Ivan Zagubanski case (see the decision in Through Transport Mutual Assurance Association (Eurasia) Ltd. v. New India Assurance Co. Ltd (2004) EWCA Civ 1589, and the West Tankers case (ECJ Judgement of 10 February 2009, C-185/07). Also, in this respect, the position vis-à-vis the appointment of arbitrators See the decision (UK) in the Lake Avery case (decision in Union de Remorquage et de Sauvetage S.A. v. Lake Avery Inc. (1997) 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 54.) and the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards appears highly contentious. See the decision (UK) in the ABCI case, i.e., the judgment of the High Court of Justice, Queens Bench Division, Commercial Court, 1993 Folio No. 993 from 28 August 2002

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the EC Commission bill regarding the Brussels I  Regulation as a  qualified attempt of the Brussels administrative structure to retract arbitration under the strict and administrative EC Rules regardless of daily business activities and needs, would rather expect a more critical approach by the IBA.42 Thus, the relation of the Brussels I Regulation exclusion in respect to arbitration might have effect not only on the jurisdiction of the national courts in terms of the EC Regulation but finally to the application of substantial law standards in international disputes as well. The growing pressure of the EC structures to limit contractual freedom43 by unreal protectionism and social ideas far removed from global economic reality are trying to limit the arbitration community, which is still independent of politically and administratively motivated and influenced EC law. The ECJ case, as the last island of a realistic and business-oriented approach in the adjudication of business disputes, is the opposite model in the use of substantial law standards in international disputes. 2.15. Nevertheless, the author shows first and foremost in this example the somewhat limited significance of such recommendations drafted at various levels in the international legal scene. It is not an exception that the same international organisations and bodies try to formulate so-called international standards of contracts qualifying them as standards generally accepted by the international business (legal) community and as so-called transnational or transnationally accepted and applicable standards of law, which is often far removed from reality in practice. Actual practice often seeks a significantly higher degree of certainty expressed through the application of binding rules often supported by extensive practice, large bodies of case law, and the pursuit of a high degree of predictability. 2.16. The inspiration for a  wide range of national lex arbitri legislation is the UNCITRAL Model Law, which in Article 28 (2), regarding the law applicable to assessments of the substance of a dispute, provides: “Failing any designation by the parties, the arbitral tribunal shall apply the law determined by the conflict-of-laws rules which it considers appropriate.” Unlike the provisions of the ICC Rules, the professional literature highlights an essential difference, where, although in both cases arbitrators may use the rules of their choice (which may not necessarily be a national system of the conflict rules of a particular state) to determine the applicable law, disagreements (in Formerly Arab Business Consortium of International BANQUE Franco-Tunisienne case), generally cited as (i) [2002] EWHC 2024 (Comm) and (ii) 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 485. 42 Alexander J. Bělohlávek, West Tankers as a Trojan Horse with Respect to the Autonomy of Arbitration Proceedings and the New York Convention 1958 (On the contentious concept of the importance of the dispute subject matter in light of subsequent decisions on the fate of anti-suit injunctions from the vantage point of Brussels-Luxembourg officialdom) 27 ASA Bulletin 4, 646 (2009). 43 This has to be protected as one of the key elements of international business activity. Cf. Zdeněk Kučera, Monika Pauknerová et Květoslav Růžička, Aktuální otázky mezinárodního práva soukromého, 1 Acta Universitatis Carolinae – Iuridica (1998).

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can be observed as regards the issue of what should be the result of the search for applicable law. This is particularly seen in whether a complete, specific national legal system must be chosen, or whether it is possible for the arbitrators to select a different law for different aspects of each case, or whether it is theoretically possible to go so far that the arbitrators apply elements of transnational rules or lex mercatoria rules. Uniformity exists in the case of UNCITRAL Rules, which are consistently interpreted to mean that arbitrators may only choose (and then decide on the dispute) a comprehensive system of a specific national law. However, Article 17 (1) of the ICC Rules is open to interpretation; some arbitrators take it to mean that the legal rules to be applied in deciding the dispute need not necessarily be the law (in terms of rules of law) in force of a particular state, but that there may be discretion in applying any rules which the arbitrators deem appropriate. The author is rather critical of this interpretation. 2.17. Even if one of the approved ways of determining applicable law is used, this may not be the last problem the parties face, because they then have to deal with how to determine and interpret the applicable law. At first glance, this “problem” may seem artificial, as nowhere is there an established obligation for arbitrators to have, for example, a specific legal education. Although one of the main criteria of the parties when composing the arbitral tribunal is the arbitrators’ expertise, it is in no way unusual for the parties to carry out extensive background research into the professional activities of potential candidates for nomination as arbitrators (and it can thus be expected that anyone lacking experience in the given field will not be appointed as an arbitrator). As this is unlikely to be an issue which needs to be handled on a  frequent basis, for the sake of interest rather than anything else we might refer to the – again – different solution offered by Common law, where, in the case of Hussmann (Europe) Ltd. v. Al Amen Development & Trade,44 the English court rejected the arbitrators’ obligation to secure the content of foreign law in the form of expert evidence. It was inferred that if the parties themselves do not present the argument that foreign applicable law differs from the law of England, the arbitrators may assume that they are identical.45 However, because the court itself probably acknowledged the difficulties of this approach, it recommended that the arbitrators, instead of using complicated technical evidence, give every opportunity to the parties to comment on the differences in legal systems.

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Robert P. Merkin, Arbitration Law marg. 7.24 (2004). Rather in opposition to the ICC Court opinion in ICC Case 15471.

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Alexander J. Bělohlávek

Convention on the Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations from 1980 (hereinafter referred to as the Convention), which entered into force on 1 April 1991 and is mandatory for Member States of the European Union. The Convention encompasses both the option of choosing applicable law by the parties and the special conflict rules applicable in the event that the parties do not designate the applicable law. The question is to what extent arbitrators are bound by the Convention and, if this question is answered in the affirmative, how conflicts in the different conceptions of the conflict rules under the Convention and the UNCITRAL Model Law will be addressed in the future. While the Convention gives parties the opportunity to choose only a specific law of a particular state, the UNCITRAL Model Law (on the basis of which the majority of current national laws governing arbitration proceedings have been drawn up) provides a much wider range of choice, especially as regards the authorization to negotiate that the relationship will be governed (inter alia) by the general principles of law, commercial practices, or transnational law (regardless of how the term is interpreted by different groups and whether transnational law actually exists). The UNCITRAL Model Law enables arbitrators, in the absence of a choice of applicable law, to use conflict rules chosen at their own discretion, while the Convention insists on applying the conflict rules in the Convention, namely the criteria of characteristic performance. (This contradiction in itself does not preclude the frequent use of this same criterion by arbitrators, which is, however, in most cases based more on their conviction of the appropriateness of such a connection than the conscious application of the Convention.) 2.19. Naturally, it must be remembered that the Convention is not applied mandatorily in arbitration, with respect to the subject thereof and in view of the fact that its use will be limited by the states which are bound by it. An interpretation is generally accepted that the exclusion of the scope contained in Article 1 (2)(d) of the Convention applies solely to an arbitration agreement as such and not to a dispute subject to an arbitration clause. There are views according to which this conclusion is valid only for state courts and does not apply to arbitration.46 There are also many other arguments rejecting the use of the Convention in arbitration. The Giulliano-Lagarde Report also noted, “The exclusion of arbitration agreements does not relate solely to the procedural aspects, but also to the formation, validity and effects of such agreements.”47 The term “effectiveness” of an arbitration agreement can be taken to mean, in a broad sense, a solution to a dispute drawing on the general rules of international private law, which excludes obligations that are the subject of arbitration from the scope of the Convention.48 46

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Dieter Martiny Europäisches Internationales Vertragsrecht – Ausbau und Konsolidierung, ZEuP 246 (1999). 47 Petra Zöbel, Schiedsgerichtbarkeit und Gemeinschaftsrecht 21 (2005). 48 H. Moller, Schiedsverfahrensnovelle und Europäisches Übereinkommen über die internationale Handelsschiedsgerichtbarkeit, NZG 57 (2000).

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The German Government came up with a theory that attempts to bridge the two standards and explain the possibility of their coexistence, at least as regards the possibility of deciding on the basis of equity. They stated the following in relation to this possibility under Section 1051 (3) of the German Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO): “On the content of Paragraphs 3 and 4 of the Model Law […] the connection with arbitration (is) so narrow that it can be regarded as contained in the preclusive clause of Article 1(2)(d) of the Convention.”49 There are arguments that the Convention is a kind of “natural complement” to the Lugano Convention of 1968 and that the two conventions should be interpreted in relation to one another (referring to the Giuliano-Lagarde Report). As the Lugano Convention applies only to the courts, the conflict rules of the Convention are not binding on arbitrators.50 More general theories have given rise to the views that by excluding arbitration agreements from the scope of the Convention, Member States have clearly indicated that the Convention should govern the choice of law in arbitration proceedings.51 Finally, the exclusion of this issue from the scope of the Convention tends to result in the incorrect conclusion that the Giuliano-Lagarde Report also makes no mention of this topic, but this report deals at length with other issues of scope.52 2.20. Although the above views are claims rather than sophisticated theory, it cannot be denied that the individual states have de facto refrained from efforts at interfering in the work of the arbitrators, restricting the flexibility of arbitration, or impinging on the freedom of both the parties and the arbitrators in the choice of appropriate conflict-of-laws procedure. Therefore, a number of decisions rendered by arbitral tribunals shows that the Convention might be applicable and is (was) a practical tool in conflictof-laws issues.53 In fact, a sort of status quo has been maintained where the relevant entities are aware of the dichotomy described, but hardly any 49 Government bill, BT-Drucks, 13/5274, p. 52. Cf Petra Zöbel, Schiedsgerichtbarkeit und Gemeinschaftsrecht 27 (2005). 50 Arno Junker, Deutsche Schiedsgerichte und Internationales Privatrecht (1051 ZPO), in Festschrift für Otto Sandrock zum 70. Geburtstag 454 (K.-P. Berger, W. F. Ebke, S. Elsing, B. Großfeld & G. Kühne, eds., 2000) as well as (citing the same source) Petra Zobel, P. Schiedsgerichtbarkeit und Gemeinschaftsrecht, 22 (2005). 51 Ibidem. 52 Cf. Petra Zöbel Schiedsgerichtbarkeit und Gemeinschaftsrecht 65 (2005); Arno Junker, Deutsche Schiedsgerichte und Internationales Privatrecht (1051 ZPO), in Festschrift für Otto Sandrock zum 70. geburtstag 454 (K.-P. Berger, W. F. Ebke, S. Elsing, B. Großfeld & G. Kühne, eds., 2000). 53 Cf Award in ICC 4996 reported in 113 JDI. (Clunet) 1131 (1986); Final Award ICC 6360, 1(2) ICC Bull. 24 (1990); Final Award in ICC 6379, XVII Y.B. Comm. Arb. 212 (1992); Partial Award in ICC 7177, 7(1) ICC Bull. 89 (1996); Award in ICC 7205, 122 JDI. (Clunet) 1031 (1994); Partial Award in ICC 7319, XXIVa Y.B. Comm. Arb. 141 (1999); Third Partial Award in ICC Case 7472 annotated in Horacio Grigera Naón, Choice-of-Law Problems in International Commercial Arbitration 289 Recueil des Cours 9, 240 (2001) (applying the Convention on grounds that it “forms the common law for the rules of conflicts of law”). See as well: Gary B. Born, Choice of Substantive Law in International Arbitration – B. The Choice of the Substantive

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Czech Yearbook of International Law

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Alexander J. Bělohlávek

tendency to reach a conceptual solution has been observed. Unlike this rather theoretical German approach, the English approach is to tackle the problem in a practical way, generating structures that facilitate the coexistence of the Convention and national rules on arbitration (Although, the question remains as to whether these theories would hold their ground in the face of the “Continental” legal system.). Regarding cases where the parties directly made a choice of law, according to some theories this is not restricted by the Convention; it is conceded that the choice of rules other than a national legal system, albeit ineffective within the meaning of Article 3(1) of the Convention, is valid according to Article 46 of the English Arbitration Act of 1996.54 Likewise, it is commonly inferred (from the Giuliano-Lagarde Report) that the Convention provides ample room for an implied choice of law, and the question is where we see the boundary between the determination of such will by arbitrators and the interpretation that the applicable law is determined by the arbitrators based on implicit evidence provided by the parties.55 If the choice of the law is not made by the parties, there is a theory of delegated choice of law based on the assumption that the determination of applicable law by arbitrators may actually be considered a choice of law within the meaning of Article 3 of the Convention, with the difference that the parties have delegated this component to a  third-party.56 This theory works only if the arbitrators determine a  specific national legal system as applicable, do  not rely on the concepts of the above-mentioned transnational law, and do not fulfil the condition of the Convention that the choice of law must be made with reasonable certainty. There are three possible solutions here. The first option is to infer the priority of the Arbitration Act over the Convention (presumably as lex specialis, although that is not explicitly mentioned). The second option is seen as the possibility (discussed above by German law) to infer that the Convention does not apply to arbitrators. The authors themselves acknowledge that this concept would be difficult, if not impossible, to align directly with the Convention. The final option is to admit a breach of the Convention, which need not necessarily have an effect on the validity of an arbitration award, which can only be challenged via the procedure and on the grounds stated in the 1996 Arbitration Act. In this case, the court should not uphold an application where the arbitrators have acted in the context of freedom of contract (presumably taken to mean that granted to them by the parties), even assuming that this arrived at a result which the court itself never reached.57

Law Governing the Merits of the Parties’ Dispute in the Absence of Agreement on Applicable Law, 2111 Kluwer International Arbitration (2009). 54 Cf. Robert P. Merkin, Arbitration Law marg. 7.28 (2004). 55 Ibidem, marg. 7.36. 56 Ibidem, marg. 7.43. 57 Ibidem, marg. 7.45 and 7.46.

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2.21. The question naturally arises as to whether the Convention, and therefore the characteristic performance test, will continue to carry the same weight as the Rome I Regulation, entered into force in 2008 and currently applicable to contracts entered into by the parties on or after 17 December 2009. In professional literature, opinions have emerged (albeit naturally isolated thus far) according to which the determination of applicable law in proceedings before arbitrators will transfer to the regime of the Rome I Regulation58 (if applicable to a particular dispute/contract). However, such a development is not exactly definite. A very important part of international arbitration practice is based on the fact that any contradiction between the conflict solution under certain standards in accordance with conflict rules, and between the contract itself, i.e., including the expectations of the parties, must be fundamentally settled in favour of the contract, and the basis for a substantive solution should be provided by the contract itself. It can therefore be expected that a number of arbitrators will maintain as much as possible their standards of decision-making practices, which are not bound by fixed rules of conflict. In respect to the applicability of the Rome I  Regulation to arbitration, this author’s opinion is that the tribunals have to apply the Regulation at once if they have to apply particular conflict-of-laws rules (as adapted by a number of national lex arbitri rules as cited above) and such conflict-of-laws rules are those of a country bound by the Regulation as a part of Community law and directly applicable in all Member states, excluding Denmark. The refusal to apply it would endanger certainty and predictability. Nevertheless, the arbitrators might do so, and they often have to find a  more rational and commercially practical approach in interpreting the Regulation. In addition, they often determine the limits of the parties’ contractual freedom and autonomy, which in EC law are in fact (de iure) rather broad. And this occurs even if not so presented and even if the EU administrative structures usually attempt to subordinate arbitration conducted in EU countries under the ECJ adjudicated standards, which are (in contrast to the Rome I Regulation itself ) not binding for arbitrators if determining substantial law issues. Upon entering the arbitration agreement, it might be understood as the expression by the parties and as an instruction addressed to international arbitrators not to be bound by such a strict and normative approach in interpreting substantial law issues, including the limits of the conflict-of-laws rules such as those limits applicable by the courts of the Member states if litigating before them. It is the task for arbitrators to strike the relevant balance between the high degree of certainty desired by the parties and the application of standardised or even mandatory conflict-of-laws rules, while at the same time maintaining a highly practical approach in their interpretation and later if interpreting the applicable (substantive) law. | | |

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Fabrizio Marrella, The New (Rome I) European Regulation on the Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations: What has Changed? 19 ICC Bulletin 105 – 106 1(2008).

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Alexander J. Bělohlávek

Summaries FRA

[Droit utilisable en matière d’arbitrage international d‘un litige et développements actuels dans le domaine du droit international privé européen : règles de collision et utilisation de la Convention de Rome, règlement communautaire Rome I et autres standards du droit communautaire dans le cadre d‘une procédure d‘arbitrage international] La détermination du droit utilisable ne doit jamais outrepasser les limites du contrat conclu entre les parties contractantes, tout comme leurs attentes et leur sécurité juridique. Il faut comprendre ces critères comme des dogmes. La crise économique et financière globale a simplement confirmé que la pratique commerciale était devenue extrêmement brutale et la situation actuelle globale confirme qu’une clause compromissoire ou prorogatoire ne signifie pas automatiquement que les parties soient particulièrement intéressés à ce que leur litige soit résolu équitablement au sens où de telles clauses impliqueraient l’autorisation de la commission d’arbitrage à choisir n’importe quel droit ou même base juridique. Les juges doivent déterminer un droit d’arbitrage qui sera la norme juridique d’un État particulier pour l’utilisation des réglementations et des méthodes standards en matière de règles de collision, tel que le détermine le lex arbitri utilisable, ou doivent déterminer eux-mêmes dans un premier temps (si les réglementations du legis arbitri et/ou les parties les y autorisent) les méthodes de collision et les réglementations applicables. Il doivent tenir compte du contrat tout comme éventuellement du lex arbitri utilisable, si celui-ci comporte des règles contraignantes pour la résolution d’un problème de collision. En ce qui concerne l’utilisation du règlement communautaire Rome I dans une procédure d’arbitrage, l’auteur du présent article est de l’avis que les commissions d’arbitrage sont tenus de l’utiliser dès que et à partir du moment où elles sont tenues d’utiliser des règles déterminées de collision (tel que c’est fixé par les réglementations juridiques nationales legis arbitri) et à partir du moment où il s’agit de règles de collision d’un État lié par le règlement communautaire. Le refus de son utilisation pourrait constituer une menace pour la prévisibilité et la sécurité juridique. Les juges peuvent néanmoins adopter une approche plus rationnelle et accordant une part plus importante à la pratique commerciale dans leur interprétation du règlement communautaire Rome I, tout comme dans leur interprétation des limites de l’autonomie des parties, de facto (de iure) assez souples en droit communautaire, bien que les structures administratives de l’UE ne manquent pas une occasion pour tenter de subordonner les procédures d’arbitrage engagées dans les pays de l’UE aux standards juridiques de la CJUE (Cour de justice de l’Union européenne), qui n’ont pas un caractère obligatoire (à la différence du règlement communautaire Rome I luimême) pour les juges dans l’examen de questions de droit matériel.

CZE

[Právo rozhodné pro předmět sporu v  mezinárodním rozhodčím řízení a  aktuální vývoj v  evropském mezinárodním právu soukromém: kolizní pravidla a použitelnost Římské úmluvy, Nařízení Řím I a jiných standardů komunitárního práva v mezinárodním rozhodčím řízení] Určení použitelného práva nesmí nikdy překročit hranice smlouvy uzavřené mezi stranami a jejich očekávání, jakož i právní jistotu stran. Tato kritéria je

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nutno chápat jako dogma. Globální finanční a ekonomická krize pouze potvrdila, že obchodní praxe se stala navýsost brutální a současná globální situace potvrzuje, že existence rozhodčí nebo prorogační doložky, neznamená vyšší zájem stran na tom, aby svůj spor vyřešili fairovým způsobem, o to méně mandát pro rozhodce zvolit jakékoliv právo, pravidla nebo dokonce právní zásady pro posouzení předmětu sporu. Rozhodci musí určit rozhodné právo jako právní řád konkrétního státu za použití standardních kolizněprávních metod a předpisů tak, jak stanoví použitelné lex arbitri nebo (opravňují-li je k tomu předpisy legis arbitri a/nebo strany) aby nejprve určili sami odpovídající kolizní metody a  pravidla. Musí zohlednit smlouvu, jakož i  případně použitelné lex arbitri, pokud toto obsahuje závazné pokyny pro řešení kolizního problému. Ve vztahu k použitelnosti Nařízení Řím I v rozhodčím řízení zastává autor názor, že rozhodčí senáty jej musí použít, jakmile a jestliže mají použít určitá kolizní pravidla (tak, jak stanoví řada národní předpisů legis arbitri) a pokud jde o kolizní pravidla takového státu, který je vázán Nařízením. Odmítnutí jeho použití by mohlo ohrozit právní jistotu a předvídatelnost. Nicméně rozhodci mohou zvolit racionálnější a na obchodní praxi více zaměřený přístup při interpretaci Nařízení, jakož i při interpretaci hranic autonomie stran, které jsou v komunitárním právu ve skutečnosti (de iure) dosti široké, ačkoliv administrativní struktury EU neopomenou jakoukoliv příležitosti, aby se snažili o podřazení rozhodčího řízení vedeného v zemích EU pod standardy judikované ESD (Soudem EU), které nejsou (narozdíl od  samotného Nařízení Řím  I) pro rozhodce při posuzování hmotněprávních otázek závazné. Při určování rozhodného práva v rozhodčím řízení je omezuje smlouva a lex arbitri, pokud to stanoví kolizní pravidla. Odchylka od  kolizních metod určení rozhodného práva je i  v  rozhodčím řízení, které jinak poskytuje větší volnost než řízení před soudem, možné v zásadě jen v případě souhlasu stran nebo pouze ohledně interpretace kolizních pravidel, nikoliv však pro jejich určení. Opačný postup by ohrozil právní jistotu a předvídatelnost. Rozhodci jsou vázáni kolizními předpisy EU, pokud jsou povinni aplikoval kolizní pravidla některého z členských států. Jsou jím však podstatně méně vázáni při jejich interpretaci a při výkladu a použití hmotného práva.

Czech Yearbook of International Law

Law Applicable to the Merits of International Arbitration…

Klíčová slova: Rozhodčí řízení | rozhodčí doložka | prorogační doložka | rozhodčí smlouva | rozhodné právo | použitelné právo | právo rozhodné pro předmět sporu | místo konání rozhodčího řízení rozhodčí senát | soudní řízení | ICC | hmotné právo | volba práva | mezinárodní právo soukromé | předmět sporu | rozhodčí soud | procesní právo | pravomoc | UNCITRAL | LCIA | transancionální právo | principy spravedlnosti | ex aequo et bono | lex mercatoria | právní zásady.

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[Prawo właściwe dla przedmiotu sporu w międzynarodowym postępowaniu arbitrażowym a aktualne tendencje w europejskim prawie prywatnym międzynarodowym: normy kolizyjne a  stosowanie konwencji rzymskiej, rozporządzenia Rzym I i innych norm prawa wspólnotowego w międzynarodowym postępowaniu arbitrażowym] Określenie prawa właściwego w przypadku postępowania arbitrażowego ogranicza umowa i lex arbitri, jeżeli wskazuje normy kolizyjne. Odejście od norm

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kolizyjnych w celu określenia prawa właściwego w postępowaniu arbitrażowym, które zasadniczo pozostawia większą swobodę niż postępowanie sądowe, możliwe jest jedynie za  zgodą stron lub wyłącznie w zakresie interpretacji norm kolizyjnych, nie zaś – w celu ich określenia. W przeciwnym razie zagrożona byłaby pewność i przewidywalność prawna. Arbitrów wiążą normy kolizyjne UE, jeżeli mają obowiązek stosowania norm kolizyjnych jednego z krajów członkowskich. Jednak wiążą ich w znacznie mniejszym stopniu w zakresie ich interpretacji oraz wykładni i stosowaniu prawa materialnego. DEU

[Das für den Streitgegenstand im internationalen Schiedsverfahren entscheidende Recht und die aktuelle Entwicklung im europäischen internationalen Privatrecht: Anknüpfungsregeln und die Anwendbarkeit des Rom Übereinkommens, der Rom I-Verordnung und anderer Normen des Gemeinschaftsrechts im internationalen Schiedsverfahren] Die Bestimmung des entscheidenden Rechts im Schiedsverfahren (in der Sache selbst) wird durch den Vertrag limitiert, sowie durch die lex arbitri, soweit die Anknüpfungsregeln dies vorsehen. In Schiedsverfahren, die ansonsten größere Freiheit als Gerichtsverfahren gewähren, ist eine Abweichung von den Anknüpfungssregeln zur Bestimmung des entscheidenden Rechts prinzipiell nur dort möglich, wo die Parteien ihr Einverständnis erklärt haben, bzw. nur bezüglich der Auslegung der Anknüpfungssregeln, nicht aber bezüglich deren Bestimmung selbst. Anders vorzugehen hieße die Rechtssicherheit und die Vorhersehbarkeit zu bedrohen. Schiedsrichter sind an die EU-Anknüpfungsnormen gebunden, soweit sie verpflichtet sind, die Anknüpfungsregeln eines Mitgliedstaats anzuwenden. Bei deren Auslegung freilich, und bei der Auslegung und Anwendung des entscheidenden materiellen Rechts (in der Sache selbst), sind die Schiedsrichter an diese noch bedeutend weniger gebunden.

RUS

[Александр Й. Белоглавек | Право, применимое к предмету спора в международном арбитраже, и актуальный ход развития в европейском международном частном праве: коллизионные правила и  применимость Римской конвенции, Регламента Рим I  и других стандартов коммунитарного права в международном арбитражном производстве] Определение применимого права в арбитражном производстве ограничивает договор и lex arbitri, если это определено в коллизионных правилах. Отклонение от коллизионных методов определения применимого права, в том числе в арбитражном производстве, которое иначе предоставляет большую свободу, чем судебный процесс, в принципе, возможно лишь в случае согласия сторон либо лишь в связи с коллизионными правилами, однако вовсе не для их определения. Противоположный подход бы ставил под угрозу правовую безопасность и предсказуемость. Арбитры связаны коллизионными правовыми нормами ЕС в том случае, если обязаны применять коллизионные правила одной из стран-членов. Однако, в значительной степени ими менее связаны при их интерпретации и при толковании, а также при применении материального права.

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