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Rules of the Arbitration and Dispute Resolution Institute of the Oslo Chamber of Commerce

  • Definitions

    Arbitration: Arbitration means that the resolution of a dispute which the parties are free to refer to a private Tribunal, is left to such Tribunal. An Arbitration Agreement excludes the regular courts from dealing with and resolving the dispute.

    Fast-track: Fast-track Arbitration is a dispute resolution method whose purpose is a more.

    Arbitration: expeditious resolution of a dispute than by regular Arbitration. The Award shall be made within 6 months of the appointment of an Arbitrator and the parties are normally precluded from submitting more than two written pleadings each.

    Mediation: Mediation is a dispute resolution method whose aim it is to have the dispute settled without litigation, by the parties endeavouring to reach an amicable settlement through the assistance of an appointed Mediator.

    Mini-trial: Mini-trial is a dispute resolution method whose aim it is to have the dispute settled without litigation, by the parties presenting the factual and legal issues before a Panel to which the Institute has appointed an Umpire and where each party has appointed one representative.

    Preface

    The majority of disputes in business relationships are settled amicably out of court. When the parties are unable to reach an amicable settlement, however, they need a third party to resolve the dispute. In such cases, the parties normally choose between litigation before regular courts or private arbitration.

    Throughout the years, the number of arbitration cases has increased considerably. There are several reasons for this, but frequently the parties prefer arbitration to litigation in court because they wish to exert stronger influence on the composition and competence of the deciding body which arbitration affords them. In so doing, they may also limit the proceedings to a single instance without recourse to appeal which will result in a speedier resolution of the dispute. Parties residing in different countries with differing legal systems will have had to choose the applicable substantive law and the method of dispute resolution already at the contract negotiation stage. As for dispute resolution, the parties will normally agree on some form of arbitration in each case.

    Against that background, the Oslo Chamber of Commerce established its Arbitration Institute in 1984 and set out rules on arbitration to supplement the arbitration provisions of the Code on Civil Procedure of August 13, 1915 as amended. Under the rules, the parties may choose arbitrators from a panel of recognized jurists experienced in many fields of commercial law matters.

    The Oslo Chamber of Commerce has now extended its involvement by offering additional services in the field of dispute resolution through simplified procedures like fast-track arbitration, mediation and mini-trials. In these procedures, the parties may also choose mediators and arbitrators who possess the skill and experience which the parties see as most appropriate for resolving the dispute in question.

    Irrespective of which form of dispute resolution is chosen, the Arbitration and Dispute Resolution Institute of the Oslo Chamber of Commerce will be able to assist the parties in the conduct of the proceedings, inter alia through administrative services and the provision of secretarial help.

    Chapter I

    Organization and object

    Article 1

    The Arbitration and Dispute Resolution Institute of the Oslo Chamber of Commerce is a body within the Oslo Chamber of Commerce dealing with matters of Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution.

    Its object is:

    a) to assist in the settlement of disputes between contracting parties in connection with industrial, commercial, shipping and other business matters, national or international, in accordance with these Rules;

    b) to assist, as it may so decide in each separate case, in proceedings of Arbitration or Alternative Dispute Resolution which wholly or in part differ from those governed by these Rules;

    c) to promote the use of Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution, and in connection therewith to provide information and to support educational programs.

    Article 2

    The Institute shall be administered by a Board of up to ten members appointed by the Executive Committee of the Oslo Chamber of Commerce for a period of three years. The Executive Committee shall also appoint the Chairman. In the event of a vacancy, the Executive Committee shall appoint a replacement for the remaining term. The members shall be experienced in matters of Arbitration and methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution.

    Article 3

    A quorum of the Board exists when at least one half of the appointed members are present. In the event of a vote being tied, the Chairman shall have a casting vote. The decisions of the Board are final and are not subject to review by the Executive Committee of the Chamber of Commerce.

    Article 4

    The Chamber of Commerce shall provide adequate equipment and secretarial staff personnel for the Tribunals established in accordance with the provisions of Chapter II and for the Bodies established to settle disputes in accordance with Chapters III, IV and V.

    Chapter II

    Arbitration Rules

    Article 5

    Applicable Procedural Rules

    Unless otherwise agreed between the parties, the procedural Rules contained herein, supplemented by the provisions of the Norwegian Code on Civil Procedure, shall apply to the Arbitration proceedings.

    Article 6

    The Arbitration Tribunal

    The parties may agree on the number of Arbitrators. If they have not so agreed, the number of Arbitrators in each case shall be three. However, in special circumstances the Institute may determine that the dispute shall be decided by a single Arbitrator.

    Within a time limit fixed by the Institute, the parties shall be given the opportunity to agree on the person(s) to be appointed Arbitrator. Failing such agreement within the fixed time limit, each party shall appoint one Arbitrator and the Institute shall appoint the Chairman or the single Arbitrator. If a party fails to appoint an Arbitrator within the time fixed by the Institute, he shall be appointed by the Institute. Before the Institute appoints an Arbitrator, the views of the parties shall be heard.

    The Institute may appoint a deputy Arbitrator in special circumstances.

    Article 7

    Arbitration Fees and Deposits

    The Board shall adopt a schedule of registration fees which may be revised from time to time. The applicable fee shall be payable by the Claimant prior to the appointment of the Tribunal by the Institute.

    Before acting in a case, the Tribunal may decide that the parties shall deposit with the Institute an amount sufficient to cover the estimated expenses of the Institute and the Tribunal. When a party fails to make such deposit, the Tribunal may require the other party to make it, or failing payment by that other party, the Tribunal may refuse to act.

    Article 8

    Request for Arbitration

    The Request for Arbitration shall be made in writing to the Institute stating:

    a) the names and addresses of the parties;

    b) the names of the members of the Tribunal if they have been agreed upon by the parties, or alternatively, the name of the Arbitrator appointed by the Claimant;

    c) the nature of the dispute, the result sought and its basis.

    The contract on which the Claim is based and evidence of the Arbitration Agreement shall be submitted together with the Request.

    Article 9

    Measures by the Institute after Request

    The Institute shall communicate the Request to the Respondent setting a time limit for the reply. The reply shall state:

    a) the name of the Arbitrator appointed by the Respondent unless the parties have agreed on the composition of the Tribunal;

    b) the Respondent's position in respect of the Claim;

    c) the counter-claim or set-offs, if any, their nature, basis and extent.

    If it is evident that the Institute lacks jurisdiction, the case shall be dismissed. Otherwise the Institute shall proceed with the appointment of Arbitrators as required. The Institute shall at the request of a party discharge an Arbitrator who is held to be disqualified, incompetent or to have mishandled his task as an Arbitrator.

    If an Arbitrator dies, resigns or is discharged pursuant to the foregoing paragraph, another Arbitrator shall be appointed under the provisions of Article 6.

    When a Tribunal has been established, the case shall be transferred to it and all further proceedings shall be conducted by the Tribunal.

    Article 10

    Powers of the Tribunal

    The Tribunal shall have full jurisdiction and power to conduct the proceedings in a fair and efficient manner in accordance with the wishes of the parties. It may delegate to the Chairman to take any step necessary for the proper conduct of the proceedings.

    In particular the Tribunal shall:

    a) decide on the validity of the Arbitration Agreement and on its own competence;

    b) determine any question of law arising in the Arbitration proceedings;

    c) unless otherwise agreed by the parties, determine the place of the Arbitration;

    d) proceed with the Arbitration notwithstanding the failure or refusal of a party to comply with its directions after giving the party due notice;

    e) unless a party objects, allow the scope of the Arbitration to be extended through the inclusion of new claims and other parties to be joined;

    f) make awards in the matters in dispute between parties.

    Article 11

    Further Pleadings

    After having obtained the views of the parties, the Tribunal may allow or direct the parties to submit written pleadings or evidence and fix time limits for their submission. Evidence to which the parties wish to refer, must be presented within the fixed time limits and before the Hearing unless otherwise accepted by the other party or the Tribunal when special circumstances occur.

    Article 12

    Language

    The parties shall be free to agree on the language of the Pleadings, the Hearings and the Award. In the event that they have not so agreed, the language shall be that of the contract, provided however, that documents of evidence may be submitted in their original language and witnesses may be heard and examined in a major language of their choice.

    Article 13

    The Hearing

    At a reasonable time in advance, the Tribunal shall fix a date for the Hearing at which the parties shall argue their case orally unless they agree that an Award shall be made on the documents and without a Hearing. The Hearing shall be conducted and the arguments shall be presented in such manner as the Tribunal shall decide in consultation with the parties. Witnesses may be heard at the Hearing, and may be examined and cross-examined by the parties.

    Article 14

    Voting

    Any matter before the Tribunal shall be decided by a majority vote.

    Article 15

    Time for Making Award

    The Award by the Tribunal shall be notified to the parties not later than six weeks after the conclusion of the Hearing, and to the extent possible, not later than one year after the appointment of the Tribunal. These time limits may be extended by the Board of the Institute.

    Article 16

    Separate Awards

    A separate issue or a part of the matter in dispute may, at the request of a party, be decided by a separate or interim Award. If the other party objects, such separate Award may be made only when, in the Tribunal's view, there are special reasons for making it.

    Article 17

    The Award

    The Award must not go beyond the claims and contentions made by the parties. It shall, as the case may be, contain an order or a conclusion as to a party's rights and obligations, together with reasons for it, including any dissenting opinion. The Award shall be signed by all Arbitrators.

    The Tribunal shall fix the amounts for costs and the remuneration due to the Arbitrators and the Institute for serving in the matter, and decide whether one or both parties shall be liable to pay such amounts and in what proportion. The Tribunal shall also determine the remuneration to the Arbitrators and the Institute in the event that a settlement of the dispute has been reached before an Award is made. In all events, the parties shall be jointly and severally liable for the payment of such sums.

    In the Award the Tribunal may also, at its discretion, direct the losing party to pay the successful party's costs wholly or in part. The costs recoverable shall be all expenses incurred by the party, including attorney's fees.

    Article 18

    Effect of the Award

    The Award shall be final and enforceable and shall be subject to no review or modification by the Tribunal, except that obvious miscalculations or figures or clerical errors may be corrected if demanded by a party within 4 weeks after the Award has been handed down.

    Chapter III

    Fast-track Arbitration Rules

    Article 19

    Applicable Rules for Fast-track Arbitration

    Unless the parties otherwise agree, the Rules contained in this Chapter, supplemented by the provisions of the Norwegian Code on Civil Procedure, shall apply to Fast-track Arbitration proceedings.

    Article 20

    Request for Fast-track Arbitration

    The Request for Fast-track Arbitration shall be made in writing to the Institute stating:

    a) the names and addresses of the parties;

    b) the name of the proposed Arbitrator;

    c) the nature of the dispute, the result sought and its basis.

    The contract on which the Claim is based and evidence of the Agreement of Fast-track Arbitration shall be submitted together with the Request.

    Article 21

    Measures by the Institute after Request

    The Institute shall without delay submit the Request to the other party fixing a time limit for his reply. The reply shall state:

    a) whether or not the Respondent agrees to the conduct of a Fast-track Arbitration;

    b) whether or not the Respondent agrees to the proposed Arbitrator and, if not, the name of his proposed Arbitrator;

    c) the Respondent's position in respect of the Claim;

    d) the counter-claim or set-offs, if any, their nature, basis and extent.

    If it is evident that the Institute lacks jurisdiction, the case shall be dismissed. Otherwise the Institute shall without delay appoint an Arbitrator as provided for in Article 23.

    Article 22

    Arbitration Fees and Deposits

    The Board shall prepare a schedule of registration fees which may be revised from time to time. The applicable fee shall be payable by the parties, each paying one half no later than the date on which the Arbitrator is appointed.

    The Institute may decide that within a fixed time the parties shall deposit with the Institute a payment on account of the estimated expenses. Additional deposits may be requested if deemed necessary by the Institute. If a party fails to make his share of the deposit, the Arbitrator may require the other party to make it, or failing payment by that party, the Arbitrator may refuse to act in the matter.

    Article 23

    Appointment of Arbitrator

    The dispute shall be decided by an Arbitrator appointed by the Institute. If the parties request appointment of the same person, he shall normally be appointed. Otherwise the Institute is free to appoint an Arbitrator of its choice.

    The Institute shall at the request of a party discharge an Arbitrator who is held to be disqualified, incompetent or to have mishandled his task. In such case the Institute shall appoint another Arbitrator as provided for in the above paragraph.

    Before the Institute appoints an Arbitrator, the views of the parties shall be heard.

    When the Arbitrator has been appointed, the case shall be transferred to him, and all further proceedings shall be conducted by him.

    Article 24

    Powers of the Arbitrator

    The Arbitrator shall have full jurisdiction and power to conduct the proceedings in a fair and efficient manner in accordance with the wishes of the parties. More particularly the Arbitrator shall:

    a) decide on the validity of the Arbitration Agreement and on his own competence;

    b) determine any question of law arising in the Arbitration proceedings;

    c) determine the time for and place of the Arbitration proceedings as well as the language to be used, unless the parties have agreed on the language;

    d) proceed with the Arbitration notwithstanding the failure or refusal of a party to comply with his directions, after giving the party due notice.

    Article 25

    The Arbitration Proceedings

    The Award shall be made within 6 months of the appointment of the Arbitrator. The parties may not submit more than one pleading each in addition to those of the Claim and the Defence. The Arbitrator may in particular circumstances dispense with the above provisions. The pleadings are to be submitted within time limits fixed by the Arbitrator.

    Article 26

    The Arbitration Hearing

    The Arbitration Hearing shall not last more than 4 days. The Arbitrator may decide that it shall last a shorter period of time.

    The parties shall be given equal time to present their case and to examine parties and witnesses, as well as to present arguments. Cross-examination shall count as time used by the examining party.

    Article 27

    The Arbitration Award

    The Arbitration Award shall be submitted to the parties at the latest 4 weeks after conclusion of the Hearing. The Board of the Institute may prolong the period in special circumstances.

    The Award must not go beyond the claims and contentions made by the parties. It shall contain an order or a conclusion, as the case may be, as to a party's rights and obligations and shall give reasons. The Award shall be signed by the Arbitrator.

    The Arbitrator shall fix the amounts for costs and the remuneration due to him and the Institute for serving in the matter, and decide how to apportion them between the parties. In all events, the parties shall be jointly and severally liable for the payment of such sums. Should a settlement of the dispute be made before an Award is made, the Arbitrator shall fix an amount for costs and remuneration due to him and the Institute.

    The Arbitrator may, at his discretion, award costs to the successful party, wholly or in part. The costs recoverable shall be all expenses incurred by the party including attorney's fees.

    Article 28

    Effect of the Award

    The Award shall be final and enforceable and shall be subject to no review or modification by the Arbitrator, except that obvious miscalculations of figures or clerical errors may be corrected if demanded by a party within 4 weeks after the Award has been handed down.

    Chapter IV

    Mediation Rules

    Article 29

    Applicable Mediation Rules

    The provisions of this Chapter shall apply to a Mediation agreed between the parties unless they have otherwise agreed.

    Article 30

    Request for Mediation

    A Request for Mediation shall be made to the Institute in writing and shall contain:

    a) the names and addresses of the parties;

    b) the nature of the dispute and its basis.

    The Mediation Agreement on which the Request is based shall be submitted together with the Request.

    Article 31

    Measures by the Institute after Request

    The Institute shall submit the Request to the other party, fixing a time for him to state whether or not he accepts that Mediation shall be commenced. If the other party either advises the Institute that he does not want to participate in Mediation proceedings, or if he fails to respond to the communication from the Institute within the time fixed, the Request for Mediation shall be considered revoked.

    If the other party accepts that Mediation shall be conducted, the Institute shall request the parties jointly to advise the Institute who they want to have appointed as Mediator as provided for in Article 32. If such advice has not been received within a time fixed by the Institute, the Request for Mediation shall not be accepted by the Institute.

    Article 32

    Appointment of Mediator

    The Board of the Institute shall prepare and maintain a list of qualified Mediators who can undertake tasks in accordance with the Rules of the Institute.

    One Mediator shall serve in each case. If the magnitude of the matter justifies it, and the parties so agree, more than one Mediator may be appointed in the case.

    The Institute appoints the Mediator. If the parties wish a Mediator to be appointed who is not included in the Institute's list, the Institute may in special circumstances appoint him.

    A Mediator serving in a case shall be neutral and independent of the parties.

    Article 33

    Mediation Fees and Deposits

    The Board shall adopt a schedule of registration fees for Mediation which may be revised from time to time. The applicable fee shall be payable by the parties with one half each, unless they agree otherwise. The fee shall be paid before the Institute appoints the Mediator.

    The Institute may decide that the parties, before the Mediation commences, shall deposit with the Institute a payment on account of the estimated expenses of the Mediation. When the parties' assessment of the estimated expenses has been submitted, ref. Article 34 g), the Institute may demand payment of additional deposits. Failing such payment by the parties within a time fixed by the Institute, the Request for Mediation shall be considered revoked.

    Article 34

    Agreement on the Conduct of the Mediation

    As soon as the Mediator has been appointed and the parties have paid fees and made deposits as provided for in Article 33, the Mediator shall call the parties to a preparatory session. The Mediator, in cooperation with the parties, shall see to it that an Agreement is made containing inter alia:

    a) place for the Mediation Session;

    b) date and duration of the Mediation Session;

    c) determination of the procedure to be followed prior to the Mediation Session;

    d) fixing of time limits;

    e) role of the Mediator during the Mediation, and the extent to which he shall be bound by confidentiality towards the parties during the Mediation;

    f) detailed Rules on the conduct of the Mediation Session, including the language to be used;

    g) specification of estimated costs for the Mediation, including remuneration to the Mediator and apportionment of the costs between the parties;

    h) right of the parties, if any, to discontinue the Mediation.

    The Board of the Institute has prepared standard Agreements on Mediation which can be modified to suit the dispute in question and the needs and wishes of the parties.

    The Agreement shall be signed by the parties and the Mediator. The Mediator shall submit a copy of the Agreement to the Institute.

    Article 35

    Conclusion of the Mediation

    The Mediation is concluded by:

    a) the parties entering into a binding Settlement Agreement.

    b) the Mediator advising the parties and the Institute that continuation of the Mediation will serve no purpose;

    c) the parties having failed to reach settlement within an agreed date;

    d) one party requiring that the Mediation shall be discontinued.

    If settlement between the parties has not been reached, they are free to bring the dispute before the regular courts or to Arbitration. If the parties have agreed Arbitration pursuant to the Rules of the Institute, or enter into an Agreement to submit to Arbitration, and one of the parties demands Arbitration, the provisions of Chapter II shall apply to the further handling of the matter.

    Article 36

    The Settlement Agreement

    The Settlement Agreement shall be made in writing and with the assistance of the Mediator if requested by the parties. The Agreement shall apportion the total costs between the parties.

    The Agreement shall be signed by the parties and the Mediator.

    Article 37

    Confidentiality etc.

    All matters relating to the Mediation and the result thereof shall be held in confidence by the Mediator, the Institute and the parties, unless the parties otherwise agree.

    The parties are not allowed to disclose settlement offers made by the other party in subsequent litigation before a court or Arbitration Tribunal, or to call the Mediator as witness.

    Whoever has acted as Mediator in a dispute may not be appointed Arbitrator in the same matter unless the parties and the Mediator so agree.

    Chapter V

    Mini-trial Rules

    Article 38

    Applicable Mini-trial Rules

    The provisions of this Chapter shall apply to a Mini-trial agreed between the parties unless they have otherwise agreed.

    Article 39

    Request for Mini-trial

    A Request for Mini-trial shall be made to the Institute in writing and shall contain:

    a) the names and adresses of the parties;

    b) the nature of the dispute and its basis;

    c) the name of the party's Executive who will serve on the Panel.

    The Mini-trial Agreement on which the Request is based, shall be submitted together with the Request.

    Article 40

    Measures by the Institute after Request

    The Institute shall submit the Request to the other party fixing a time for him to state whether or not he accepts that Mini-trial shall be undertaken and, in case he accepts, to name that party's Executive to serve on the Panel.

    If the other party either advises the Institute that he does not want to participate in a Mini-trial proceedings, or he fails to respond within the time fixed, the Request for Mini-trial shall not be accepted by the Institute.

    If the other party accepts that Mini-trial shall be undertaken, the Institute shall fix a time for the parties to propose an Umpire for the Panel as provided for in Article 41.

    Article 41

    Appointment of Umpire

    The Panel shall have an Umpire who shall normally be chosen from the list of qualified Mediators established as provided for in Article 32. If the parties wish an Umpire to be appointed who is not on the list, the Institute may in special circumstances appoint him.

    The parties shall always be given the opportunity to agree on the person to be appointed Umpire. If the parties fail to propose an Umpire within a time fixed by the Institute, the Request for Mini-trial shall be considered revoked.

    The Umpire shall be appointed by the Institute. The Umpire shall be neutral and independent of the parties.

    Article 42

    Mini-trial Fees and Deposits

    The Board of the Institute shall adopt a schedule of registration fees which may be revised from time to time. The fees applicable to a Mini-trial case shall be payable by the parties with one-half each at the latest at the time of the appointment of the Umpire.

    The Institute may decide that the parties within a fixed time limit shall deposit with the Institute an amount sufficient to cover the estimated expenses for the conduct of the Mini-trial. The Institute may demand additional deposits if deemed necessary.

    When the parties fail to deposit the amount mentioned within the fixed time limit, the Request for Mini-trial shall be considered revoked.

    Article 43

    Agreement on the Conduct of the Mini-trial

    As soon as the Umpire has been appointed and the parties have paid fees and made deposits as provided for in Article 42, the Umpire shall call the parties to a preparatory session. The Umpire shall, in cooperation with the parties, see to it that an Agreement is made containing inter alia:

    a) place for the Mini-trial Session;

    b) date and duration of the Mini-trial;

    c) determination of the procedure to be followed prior to the Mini-trial Session, including the setting of time limits;

    d) determination of the procedure to be followed during the conduct of the Mini-trial including:

    - how the time available shall be shared by the parties;

    - the agenda of the proceedings;

    - the role to be played by the Umpire and the representatives of the parties on the Panel during the proceedings;

    - the language to be used;

    - the powers of the representatives of the parties to conclude settlement of the dispute.

    e) specification of estimated costs for the Mini-trial including remuneration to the Umpire and apportionment of the costs between the parties;

    f) the right of the parties, if any, to discontinue the Mini-trial proceedings.

    The Institute has prepared standard Agreements for Mini-trials which can be modified to suit the dispute in question and the needs and wishes of the parties.

    The Agreement on the conduct of the Mini-trial shall be signed by the parties and the Umpire. The Umpire shall submit a copy of the Agreement to the Institute.

    Article 44

    Conclusion of the Mini-trial

    The Mini-trial is concluded by:

    a) the parties entering into a binding Settlement Agreement;

    b) the Umpire advising the parties and the Institute that continuation of the Mini-trial will serve no purpose;

    c) one or both parties requiring that the Mini-trial be discontinued.

    If settlement between the parties has not been reached, they are free to bring the dispute before the regular courts or to Arbitration. If the parties have agreed Arbitration pursuant to the Rules of the Institute or enter into an Agreement to submit to Arbitration, and one of the parties demands Arbitration, the provisions of Chapter II shall apply to the further handling of the matter.

    Article 45

    The Settlement Agreement

    The Settlement Agreement shall be made in writing and shall include apportionment of the total costs between the parties.

    The Agreement shall be signed by the parties and the Umpire.

    Article 46

    Confidentiality etc.

    Unless otherwise agreed, all matters relating to the Mini-trial and the result thereof shall be held in confidence by the Umpire, the Institute and the parties.

    The parties are not allowed to disclose settlement offers made by the other party in subsequent litigation before the regular courts or an Arbitration Tribunal, or to call the Umpire as a witness.

    Whoever has acted as Umpire in a Mini-trial may not be appointed Arbitrator in the same dispute, unless the parties and the Umpire so agree.