1. An arbitration clause, which is an agreement to submit a dispute to an arbitration court for resolution, may be limited in time; that is, it may be in force only until a certain time, at the end of which it ceases to be in force; it may also be made under a condition applicable to the clause itself or the manner of proceeding and resolution by the arbitral tribunal.
2. Civil Procedure Code Art. 1168 governs situations in which the arbitration clause may cease to be in force (if the parties have not agreed on other legal consequences of events covered by the clause). The list set forth in this provision is therefore only exemplary, and the parties may also indicate other situations which will result in expiration (loss of force) of the arbitration clause. This is not changed by the fact that the current law does not regulate the loss of force of an arbitration clause in a situation where the time agreed by the parties in which the arbitral tribunal was required to issue an award expired, because the parties can provide otherwise. In the case considered here, the contractual specification of the deadline for completion of the proceeding before the arbitral tribunal with an award exerts the effect of expiration of the arbitration clause. Therefore this is not an instructive deadline whose only purpose was to encourage all of the participants in the arbitration proceeding, including also the arbitral tribunal, to seek a quick and effective resolution of the dispute.
3. Even when specifying its own rules for proceeding before the arbitral tribunal, the arbitral tribunal is not authorized to modify the mutual position of the parties with respect to the deadline set by them for resolution of the case. Such modification may be made by the parties themselves, but not by the arbitral tribunal.
4. In the event of doubt with respect to the scope of the arbitration clause, a restrictive interpretation should prevail. In interpreting the arbitration clause, it is not permissible to employ any presumptions which would indicate broader application of the arbitration clause. The declarations of will in the arbitration clause may not be supplemented by way of interpretation to include further external elements, events or occurrences.
Publication date: 18-06-2015 | Case no.: I ACa 1822/14Key issues: arbitration agreement, arbitration procedure, petition to set aside arbitration award