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CEPANI Rules of Arbitration of disputes of limited financial importance (2000)

  • Preliminary provisions

    Article 1 : Scope

    1. Section II shall apply if neither the main claim nor the counterclaim, if any, exceeds 12.500 Euro in principal.

    2. Where either the main claim or the counterclaim should exceed 12.500 Euro in the course of the proceedings, Section II of the Rules shall still apply, unless otherwise agreed by the parties, in which case the proceedings shall be governed by Section I of the Rules.

    Article 2 : Terminology

    In this Section, the words "Arbitral Tribunal" shall mean the sole arbitrator appointed by the Appointments Committee or by the Chairman of CEPANI in accordance with the following provisions.

    Commencement of the proceedings

    Article 3 : Request for arbitration

    1. The party that wishes to resort to arbitration of disputes of limited financial importance shall send its request to the Secretariat of CEPANI. The Request for arbitration shall contain, inter alia, the following particulars :

    1. Full name, capacity, address and telephone and fax numbers of each party;
    2. A recital of the nature and circumstances of the dispute that gives rise to the claim;
    3. The object of the claim, a summary of the means invoked and, if possible, a financial assessment of the claim;
    4. Information regarding the seat and language of the arbitration.

    Together with the request, Claimant shall provide copies of all agreements, correspondence and other relevant documents.

    2. Claimant shall also provide proof of the dispatch to Respondent of the Request and the enclosures thereto.

    Article 4 : Answer to the Request for arbitration

    1. Within twenty-one days of that dispatch, Respondent shall send its Answer to the Request for arbitration to the Secretariat of CEPANI, setting out its view on the seat and language of the arbitration. Respondent shall also communicate Exhibits and information in support of its defence.

    2. Respondent shall, within the same time limit, provide proof of the dispatch to Claimant of a copy of its Answer and the enclosures thereto.

    3. Any counterclaim must be entered by Respondent together with its Answer to the Request for arbitration, and shall contain the following particulars :

    1. A recital of the nature and circumstances of the dispute that gives rise to the claim.
    2. An indication of the object of the claim and, if possible, a financial assessment of the claim.

    Article 5 : Exchange of memorials

    1. Within twenty-one days of the dispatch of Respondent's Answer, Claimant may file a Reply that must be sent to the Secretariat of CEPANI as well as to Respondent.

    2. Within twenty-one days of this Reply, Respondent may file a Reply that must also be sent to the Secretariat of CEPANI and to Claimant.

    3. Both Claimant and Respondent then have a further fourteen days in which to submit their final answering memorials that must be sent to the Secretariat of CEPANI and to the other party.

    Article 6 : Lack of an arbitration clause

    If it appears that there is no arbitration clause, the arbitration cannot take place should Respondent not answer within the twenty-one day period mentioned in Article 4, or should Respondent refuse arbitration through CEPANI.

    Article 7 : Effect of the arbitration clause

    1. When the parties agree to resort to CEPANI for arbitration, they thereby submit to these Rules.

    2. If, notwithstanding the arbitration agreement, one of the parties were to refuse to submit to arbitration, or fail to take part in the arbitration, the arbitration shall take place nevertheless.

    3. When a party raises one or more pleas concerning the existence or the validity of the arbitration agreement, the Arbitral Tribunal shall rule on his jurisdiction.

    4. Unless otherwise agreed, neither the invalidity nor the non-existence of the contract containing the clause shall deprive the Arbitral Tribunal of jurisdiction, provided the Arbitral Tribunal upholds the validity of the arbitration agreement.

    Article 8 : Documents

    All Requests and Answers, as well as written notes submitted by the parties and all attached exhibits or copies thereof, shall be sent to each party. These documents must also be sent to the arbitrator and to the Secretariat of CEPANI.

    Article 9 : Notifications and communications

    All notifications and communications made in pursuance of these Rules shall be valid if they are made by the delivery against receipt, by registered mail, by courier, fax or any other means of telecommunication that proves their dispatch. Such notifications shall be valid if dispatched to the address or last known address of the addressee.

    THE ARBITRAL TRIBUNAL

    Article 10 : Rules of good conduct for arbitrators

    Only those persons who are independent of the parties and of their counsel, and who comply with the rules of good conduct set out in Schedule II, may serve as arbitrators in arbitration proceedings organised by CEPANI.

    Article 11 : Appointment of the arbitral tribunal

    The Appointments Committee or the Chairman of CEPANI shall appoint the Arbitral Tribunal within eight days of the payment of the advance mentioned in Article 21.

    Article 12 : Challenge of arbitrators

    1. A challenge for reasons of an alleged lack of independence or for any other reason shall be communicated to the Secretariat of CEPANI in writing and shall contain the facts and circumstances on which it is based.

    2. The challenge must be communicated by a party, on pain of inadmissibility, either within the month of the receipt by that party of the notification of the arbitrator's appointment, or within the month of the date on which that party was informed of the facts and circumstances which it invokes in support of its challenge, whatever date is the latest.

    3. The Appointments Committee or the Chairman of CEPANI shall rule on the admissibility and, if need be, on the merits of the challenge, after the Secretariat of CEPANI will have given the arbitrator and the other parties a reasonable time period to present their comments in writing. These comments shall be communicated to the parties and to the arbitrator.

    THE ARBITRAL PROCEEDINGS

    Article 13 : Transmission of the file to the Arbitral Tribunal

    The Secretariat of CEPANI shall communicate the file to the Arbitral Tribunal as soon as it is approved or appointed.

    Article 14 : Language

    1. The language of the arbitration shall be determined by mutual agreement between the parties.

    Failing such an agreement, the language or languages of the arbitration shall be determined by the arbitrator, due regard being given to the circumstances and, in particular, to the language of the contract.

    2. The Arbitral Tribunal alone shall decide which of the parties shall be charged with the translation costs, if any, and to what extent.

    Article 15 : Seat of the arbitration

    1. The Appointments Committee or the Chairman of CEPANI shall determine the seat of the arbitration, unless the parties have agreed otherwise.

    2. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, and after having consulted with them, the Arbitral Tribunal may decide to hold its hearings and meetings at any other location that it considers appropriate.

    3. The Arbitral Tribunal may deliberate at any place it considers appropriate.

    Article 16 : Examination of the case

    1. The Arbitral Tribunal shall examine the case as soon as possible and by all appropriate means. It may, namely, obtain testimonial evidence and appoint one or more experts.

    2. The Arbitral Tribunal shall, as a general rule, decide the matter solely on the basis of documents within the time limits set out in Article 18.

    3. Either at the request of a party or on its own motion, the Arbitral Tribunal may summon the parties to appear before it at the time and place specified by it.

    If any party fails to appear in spite of having been duly summoned, the Arbitral Tribunal shall be empowered to proceed after having ascertained that the summons was duly received by the parties and that there is no valid excuse for their absence.

    In any event, the award shall be deemed to be contradictory.

    5. The hearings shall not be public.

    6. The parties shall appear in person or shall be represented. They may be assisted or represented by counsel.

    7. New claims or counterclaims must be presented in writing. The Arbitral Tribunal may refuse to examine such new claims if it considers that they might delay the examination or the ruling on the original claim.

    Article 17 : Interim and conservatory measures

    1. Without prejudice to Article 1679, paragraph 2 of the Belgian Judicial Code, each party may ask the Arbitral Tribunal, upon its appointment, to order interim or protective measures, including guarantees or security for costs.

    2. All measures ordered by the ordinary courts in relation with the dispute must be communicated immediately to the Arbitral Tribunal and to the Secretariat of CEPANI.

    THE ARBITRAL AWARD

    Article 18 : Time limit for making the award

    The Arbitral Tribunal must make the award within twenty-one days of the receipt by the Secretariat of CEPANI of the final memorial or, if the proceedings are not based solely on documents, of the last hearing.

    If necessary, the time limit may be extended pursuant to a reasoned request by the Arbitral Tribunal, or on its own motion by the Secretariat of CEPANI.

    Article 19 : Award by consent

    Should the parties agree to settle their dispute after having submitted their case to the Arbitral Tribunal, the settlement shall be recorded in the form of an award if so requested by the parties and if the Arbitral Tribunal agrees to do so.

    Article 20 : Rendering and notifying the award. Finality and enforceability

    As regards the rendering and the notification of the arbitral award, its finality and enforceability, Articles 21, 22, and 23 of Section I apply.

    ARBITRATION COSTS

    Article 21 : Nature and amount of the arbitration costs

    1. The arbitration costs shall include the costs and fees of the arbitrator as well as the administrative expenses of the Secretariat of CEPANI.

    2. The arbitration costs shall range between 625 Euro and 1250 Euro and shall be determined within these limits by the Secretariat of CEPANI. Under extraordinary circumstances, the Secretariat of CEPANI may determine the arbitration costs at an amount above or below this range.

    Should the amount of the claim exceed 12.500 Euro in the course of the proceedings, the Secretariat of CEPANI may increase the arbitration costs with reference to the schedule of costs for arbitration mentioned in Schedule I.

    Article 22 : Advances towards arbitration costs

    The advance required to cover the arbitration costs as determined in accordance with Article 21 shall be paid prior to the appointment of the Arbitral Tribunal by the Appointments Committee or the Chairman of CEPANI.

    Further advance payments may be required if and when any adjustments are made to the arbitration costs in the course of the proceedings.

    The advance payment shall be borne by the Claimant and Respondent equally. However, each party may pay the entire advance should the other party fail to make its contribution.

    Article 23 : Allocation of costs

    The award shall mention which party shall finally bear the arbitration costs as determined by the Secretariat of CEPANI, or the proportion in which those costs shall be allocated between the parties. As the case may be, the award shall record the parties' agreement on the allocation of the arbitration costs.

    ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS

    Article 24 : General Rule

    Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the Rules shall refer all issues that have not been specifically provided for herein, to Chapter VI of the Belgian Judicial Code.