ADR - Mediation - Arbitration - Reconciliation

Our office promotes the implementation of alternative dispute settlement, ie recourse to mediation or arbitration, as one possibility, which clearly allows speed, low cost and equivalents of judgments results resolve a dispute.

Cases:

 

 

.Greece

Laws and institutions

1     Multilateral conventions

Is your country a contracting state to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards? Since when has the Convention been in force? Were any declarations or notifications made under articles I, X and XI of the Convention? What other multilateral conventions relating to international commercial and investment arbitration is your country a party to?

Greece is a contracting state to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, pursuant to Law No. 4220/1961, ratified without any declarations or reservations, in force since 14 October 1962.

Before that ratification Greece had been a contracting party to the Geneva Protocol of 24 September 1923, pursuant to Legislative Decree No. 4/1926 and, later, to the Geneva Convention of 1927 for the Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, pursuant to Law No. 5013/1931.

The New York Convention replaced the Geneva Protocol of 1923 and the Geneva Convention of 1927 and, therefore, the states that have signed the former are now bound only by it, unlike those states that have not yet signed the New York Convention (eg, the Bahamas, Iraq) that are still bound by the latter.

Greece is also a contracting party to the Washington Convention of 1968 on the settlement of investment disputes between states and nationals of other states (the ICSID Convention), ratified by Compulsory Law 608/1968, in force since 21 May 1969.

Finally, Greece is a signatory state of the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration, adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on 21 June 1985.

2     Bilateral treaties

Do bilateral investment treaties exist with other countries?

The total number of Bilateral Investment Treaties concluded by Greece up to, 1 June 2010, based on UNCTAD data, are the following:

Country

Date of signature

Date of entry into force

Albania

1 August 1991

4 January 1995

Algeria

20 February 2000

21 September 2007

Argentina

26 October 1999

Armenia

25 May 1993

28 April 1995

Azerbaijan

21 June 2004

3 September 2006

Bosnia and Herzegovina

12 December 2000                         

15 June 2007

Bulgaria

12 March 1993

29 April 1995

Chile

10 July 1996

27 October 2002

Country

Date of signature

Date of entry into force

China

25 June 1992

21 December 1993

Congo, DR

26 April 1991

Croatia

18 October 1996

21 October 1998

Cuba

18 June 1996

18 October 1997

Cyprus

30 March 1992

26 February 1993

CzechRepublic

3 June 1991

31 December 1992

Egypt

16 July 1993

6 April 1995

Estonia

17 April 1997

7 July 1998

Georgia

9 November 1994

3 August 1996

Germany

27 March 1961

15 July 1963

Hungary 

26 May 1989

1 February 1992

India

26 April 2007

10 April 2008

Iran, Islamic Republic

13 March 2002

9 January 2009

Jordan   

21 February 2005

8 February 2007

Kazakhstan

26 June 2002

Korea, Republic of

25 January 1995

4 November 1995

Latvia

20 July 1995

9 February 1998

Lebanon

24 July 1997

17 July 1999

Lithuania

19 July 1996

10 July 1997

Mexico 

30 November 2000

26 September 2002

Morocco 

16 February 1994

28 June 2000

Poland 

14 October 1992

20 February 1995

Romania 

23 May 1997

11 June 1998

Russian Federation

30 June 1993

23 February 1997

Serbia

25 June 1997

13 March 1998

Slovakia 

3 June 1991

31 December 1992

Slovenia

29 May 1997

11 February 2000

South Africa

19 November 1998

5 September 2001

SyrianArabRepublic

23 February 2003

27 February 2004

Tunisia

31 October 1992

21 April 1995

Turkey 

20 January 2000

24 November 2001

Ukraine

1 September 1994

4 January 1997

Uzbekistan 

1 April 1997

8 May 1998

Vietnam

13 October 2008

3     Domestic arbitration law

What are the primary domestic sources of law relating to domestic and foreign arbitral proceedings, and recognition and enforcement of awards?

The primary domestic source of law relating to domestic arbitral proceedings, recognition and enforcement of awards is articles 867 to 903 of the Code of Civil Procedure, enacted by Law No. 503/1985.

Foreign commercial arbitration is governed by Law No. 2735/1999, which introduced for the first time in the corpus of Greek legislation the notion of foreign arbitration and the rules of international private law that directly regulate arbitration issues, without recourse to rules of conflict of laws. Issues related to foreign civil arbitration remain outside the scope and application of this law.

Arbitration proceedings are considered foreign if one or both of the litigant parties is established outside Greek territory, if the place of arbitration or execution of a commercial agreement is located outside Greek territory or if the subject matter of the arbitration agreement is more closely connected with one or more other countries.

4     Domestic arbitration and UNCITRAL

Is your domestic arbitration law based on the UNCITRAL Model Law? What are the major differences between your domestic arbitration law and the UNCITRAL Model Law?

Greece adopted the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration of 21 June 1985 by Law No. 2735/1999 on Foreign Commercial Arbitration as a whole, as explained in its preamble, with some minor amendments and improvements that originated from the existing Greek legislation and case law.

5     Mandatory provisions

What are the mandatory domestic arbitration law provisions on procedure from which parties may not deviate?

The parties to arbitral proceedings have the discretion to agree freely to the rules of procedure that will govern the proceedings, provided they are in compliance with the public policy of Greece and with the rules of due process. If the parties do not select any rules before the beginning of the proceedings, then the arbitrators can choose the rules of procedure they deem most appropriate to the case (article 19 No. 2735/1995).

The following can be considered mandatory provisions:

•     the scope of the arbitration extends only to cases of a commercial and economic nature and not to civil law cases;

•     there must be a written compromissory clause inserted in the context of a contract providing for the obligation of the parties to recourse to an arbitral tribunal if there is a dispute between them;

•     if there is an arbitration clause in the contract the ordinary courts have no competence to adjudicate the case;

•     the arbitrators must be independent and impartial third persons and their award must be issued in writing, sufficiently reasoned and signed by at least the majority of arbitrators; and

•     the arbitral award is mandatory and binding for the litigant parties, it is definite in the sense there is no remedy against it, and can be directly enforced against the adversary party.

6     Substantive law

Is there any rule in your domestic arbitration law that provides the arbitral tribunal with guidance as to which substantive law to apply to the merits of the dispute?

The parties have the discretion to choose the substantive law of the case to be applied by the arbitral tribunal. In domestic arbitration Greek law applies, unless the parties agree to apply a different set of substantive rules.

7     Arbitral institutions

What are the most prominent arbitral institutions situated in your country?

The most prominent arbitral institutions include:

•     the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (www.acci.gr), governed by Presidential Decree 31/1979, which sets out its rules, tasked with resolving commercial disputes between its members;

•     the Greek Centre of Mediation and Arbitration (www.sae-epe.gr), established by the Association of Societes Anonymes and Limited Liability Companies;

•     The Hellenic Chamber of Shipping (www.nee.gr); it is governed by Royal Decree 447/1969 and tasked with resolving maritime disputes between its members;

•     the Piraeus Association for Maritime Arbitration (PAMA) (www.pama.gr), is a private non-profit association founded in 2005 to promote the resolution of maritime disputes by arbitration in Piraeus in view of its growing recognition as a major shipping centre;

•     the Organisation of Mediation and Arbitration was established by the Law for Free Collective Bargaining (1876/1990) and its main purpose is to support collective bargaining by providing independent mediation and arbitration services to social partners;

•     the Athens Bar has the competence to resolve disputes between its members’ lawyers and their clients.

•     the Technical Chamber of Greece has the competence to resolve disputes between its members (engineers) and their clients (Presidential Decree 723/1979); and

•     the Stock Exchange of Athens has the competence to resolve disputes between stock exchange brokers and their clients (Presidential Decree 637/1977).

Arbitration agreement

8     Arbitrability

Are there any types of disputes that are not arbitrable?

The Greek legal system tends to favour the arbitrability of cases. All private disputes are arbitrable, except for those where the subject matter concerns private legal rights that cannot be freely disposed of  by the parties (GCCP, article 867, section 1).

However, Greek legislation explicitly prohibits the resolution by arbitration of public interest matters, which are not disposable, such as insolvency, family law disputes (divorce, relations between parents and their children and adoption), labour law disputes (apart from collective bargaining), the civil status and legal capacity of individuals, etc.

It is important to note that issues of competition law are not arbitrable (unlike unfair competition), since they are connected with the operation of the free market, which is of public interest.

9     Requirements

What formal and other requirements exist for an arbitration agreement?

The arbitration agreement must always be in writing and can be inserted in the terms and conditions of a contract as a separate and severable clause determining explicitly the matters to be resolved by arbitration. The requirement that an agreement should be in written form is satisfied by an exchange via telegrams, teletypes, faxes or electronic means, provided that the digital signature is lawfully accepted.

Therefore, an oral agreement for arbitration is considered null and void as well as an agreement without the proper and original signature of the parties. All changes to the arbitration agreement must also be in writing.

The issue of a bill of lading in which there is an express reference to an arbitration clause contained in a carriage of goods contract, constitutes an arbitration agreement (article 7, paragraph 6, Law No. 2735/99).

The nullity of an arbitration agreement clause not meeting the requirements for its form (usually the writing requirement), can be resolved if the parties unreservedly participate in arbitral proceedings (article 7, paragraph 7, Law No. 2735/99).

An arbitration agreement stipulated without a formal requirement may exist, but will not always have the desired effect. The power of attorney of the representatives of the signatory parties for the arbitration agreement must also be in writing; however, the absence of a written power of attorney can be  resolved if the party to the arbitration agreement participates in the arbitration proceedings.

10   Enforceability

In what circumstances is an arbitration agreement no longer enforceable?

Greek law ensures the strict enforcement of arbitration agreements, before and after the arbitral proceedings begin.

An arbitration agreement is no longer enforceable if the parties agree to terminate it, if both parties file with the ordinary judge or if the defendant does not challenge in due time the lack of competence of the ordinary judge by invoking the arbitration clause.

The termination of the underlying contract does not necessarily affect the arbitration clause, unless parties agree that it will. Corporate insolvency, death or the legal incapacity of one party do not directly affect the enforceability of a pre-existing arbitration clause.

11   Third parties – bound by arbitration agreement

In which instances can third parties or non-signatories be bound by an arbitration agreement?

An arbitration agreement is only ever binding between the signatory parties. In some exceptional cases third parties can be bound by an arbitration agreement, for example:

•     voluntary assignment of the underlying contract or claim, provided that the arbitration clause is expressly included in such assignment; or

•     succession due to death or insolvency, after which the arbitration proceedings are continued by the heirs of the deceased party or the receiver of the bankrupted property respectively.

12   Third parties – participation

Does your domestic arbitration law make any provisions with respect to third-party participation in arbitration, such as joinder or third-party notice?

Third parties are allowed to participate in the arbitration proceedings. Although there is not an explicit statutory provision, once there is a valid arbitration clause signed by the litigant parties and the third party, or a third party has a direct legal interest (ie, if the arbitral award might jeopardise its legal position), it may participate in the arbitration proceedings.

The participation of the third party is ensured by submitting the relevant joinder or third-party notice to join the proceedings to the arbitrators with the consent of either the litigant parties or the arbitrators.

A third party may also be brought mandatorily before the arbitration tribunal if one of the litigant parties has a legal case against the third party should the arbitral tribunal rule against it. An example would be the contractual relationship between a manufacturer, seller and end-user, where the seller might want to bring the manufacturer into a pending arbitration between the seller and end-user to pay damages to the end-user instead of the seller should the seller lose the case.

13   Groups of companies

Do courts and arbitral tribunals in your jurisdiction extend an arbitration agreement to non-signatory parent or subsidiary companies of a signatory company, provided that the non-signatory was somehow involved in the conclusion, performance or termination of the contract in dispute, under the ‘group of companies’ doctrine?

The ‘group of companies’ doctrine is not known in Greek legislation as such, in the sense that an arbitration agreement cannot be extended to either a non-signatory parent or a subsidiary of a signatory company (except in the case of some tax disputes).

Therefore, the arbitral award is binding only between signatory parties and non-signatory parent or subsidiary companies of the signatory parties are exempt from its legal effects.

14   Multiparty arbitration agreements

What are the requirements for a valid multiparty arbitration agreement?

Once there is more than one petitioner or respondent in an arbitration agreement, each party has the right to appoint its own arbitrator, unless parties with common interests agree jointly on the appointment of one arbitrator for their parties.

Constitution of arbitral tribunal

15. Appointment of arbitrators

Are there any restrictions as to who may act as an arbitrator? (May (active or retired) judges act as arbitrators? Do arbitrators need to be selected from a list of arbitrators under your domestic arbitration law?)

The arbitrators can be freely selected by the parties at their discretion and not from a list, since international commercial arbitration in Greece does not require such a list. There are also no restrictions on the persons that are entitled to act as arbitrators. However, an arbitrator must be independent and impartial towards the litigant parties, as well as civilly and politically capable.

If the parties choose to follow the procedures set by established arbitral institutions (see question 7) then the selection can be made from a list of proposed arbitrators.

Most often, university professors or honorary judges, no matter active or retired, are selected as arbitrators. Judges who have the status of civil servants may be appointed as chairmen of an arbitral tribunal or as sole arbitrators, provided they are selected from a list pre-designated either by the president or by the three-member council of the tribunal where they serve.

16   Appointment of arbitrators

Failing prior agreement of the parties, what is the default mechanism for the appointment of arbitrators?

The parties are free to choose the number of arbitrators hearing their case, as well as the procedure by which they will be appointed.

If the parties have not agreed on the number of arbitrators, then they must be three, pursuant to article 10 of Law No. 2735/99. If the parties have not agreed on the procedure for appointment of arbitrators, they will be appointed in accordance with article 11 of Law No. 2735/99.

When there are three arbitrators, each party appoints one and these two arbitrators have the discretion to appoint the third (the umpire). If one party fails to appoint an arbitrator within 30 days after the request of the other party, or if the two arbitrators cannot reach an agreement as to the third arbitrator within 30 days of their appointment, the one-member court of first instance of the area where the arbitration is taking place will be responsible for the appointment of the arbitrators, upon a request being filed by either party.

Similarly, when there is a sole arbitrator and the parties cannot reach an agreement as to his or her appointment, the arbitrator will be appointed by the court of first instance of the area where the arbitration takes place.

In appointing arbitrators, the court of first instance considers the qualities that the parties are looking for according to their agreement, while taking care to ensure the appointment of independent and impartial arbitrators.

If such an appointment is made by the court of first instance, its judgment is not subject to appeal by the parties.

17. Challenge and replacement of arbitrators

On what grounds and how can an arbitrator be challenged and replaced? Please discuss in particular the grounds for challenge and replacement, (illness, death, bias, what standard?) and the procedure, including challenge in court. Is there a tendency to apply or seek guidance from the IBA Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest in International Arbitration?

The appointment of an arbitrator may be challenged only if there are facts or information raising justified doubts as to the arbitrator’s impartiality, independence or possession of the qualities that the parties have agreed (article 12, Law No. 2735/99).

A party may ask for the exclusion of the arbitrator that it had appointed, or in whose appointment it participated, only for reasons that come to light after the appointment.

The arbitrator is obliged to declare any details that might raise reasonable doubts about his or her impartiality or independence, even during the arbitral proceedings.

The parties may remove an arbitrator by agreement, but if the arbitrator refuses to resign then it is up to the court of first instance to decide on the matter.

One party may challenge the appointment of an arbitrator for reasons that have arisen after the appointment and during the arbitral proceedings. In the case of disagreement between the parties regarding removal of the arbitrator, it is up to the court of first instance to decide on the matter.

In Greece there is not any tendency noted up to now to follow the IBA Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest in International Arbitration. There is mostly  a tendency to follow the ICC Guidelines or the guidelines of domestic Law about International Arbitration..

18. Relationship between parties and arbitrators

What is the relationship between parties and arbitrators? Please elaborate on the contractual relationship between parties and arbitrators, neutrality of party-appointed arbitrators, remuneration, and expenses and liabilityof arbitrators.

The power of the arbitrators derives from the arbitral agreement, therefore it is of a contractual nature. However, once the arbitrators are appointed, then their role is reduced to a statutory role and they must act entirely impartially and independently towards all parties, including the party that appointed them.

The question of costs is dealt with in article 32 of Law No. 2735/99 in a very flexible and general manner. The arbitral tribunal apportions the costs of the arbitration on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the issues raised and the final outcome of the case.

The arbitrators’ fees and expenses can be agreed with the parties at the inception of the proceedings. They can also be designated and allocated between the parties by the arbitral tribunal itself when it renders its arbitral award, but in that case the allocation is subject to being challenged in the relevant court of first instance.

19. Immunity of arbitrators from liability

To what extent are arbitrators immune from liability for their conduct in the course of the arbitration? (Is the liability of arbitrators explicitly regulated in your jurisdiction? Is it similar to the liability of judges in your jurisdiction? Are arbitrators liable for negligence or only for an intentional breach of duty?)

Arbitrators must perform their duties in good faith, indicate due diligence and render the award in compliance with the formal requirements provided by the law and the purpose of receptum arbitri.

The arbitrator is liable if he or she violates the contractual obligations deriving from the appointment or commits an intentional breach of duty, for example: the arbitrator violates the confidentiality of the proceedings; refuses to render an award or prevents the award from being rendered within the time agreed; does not act duly or causes delays; resigns without any reasonable cause; or fails to disclose information that would have led to his or her dismissal.

The arbitrators are also liable for wilful misconduct, gross negligence or bribery during the conduct of their duties.

If the arbitrators commit a violation of their contractual obligations or an intentional breach of duty or commit a tort, the arbitrators are liable for damages towards the litigant parties, if there is no other remedy.

The liability of the arbitrators is not explicitly regulated by the law and they are subject to the general jurisdiction of the ordinary Courts, unlike to the Ordinary Judges that they are subject to a privileged regime of a limited liability from the point of view of its extent and its time limit with a special Statute of limitation of 6 months.  

Jurisdiction

20   Court proceedings contrary to arbitration agreements

What is the procedure for disputes over jurisdiction if court proceedings are initiated despite an existing arbitration agreement, and what time limits exist for jurisdictional objections?

If ordinary court proceedings are initiated despite an existing arbitration agreement, the defendant has the right to raise the objection of lack of jurisdiction due to the arbitration agreement in its first defence document, requesting that the court should stay the proceedings and refer the case to the designated arbitration, unless the court ex officio or after an objection by a party holds that the arbitration clause is null and void. Otherwise, if the defendant does not raise the relevant objection in time, then it is regarded as having waived its right to arbitration and having consented to be subject to ordinary court proceedings.

21   Jurisdiction of arbitral tribunal

What is the procedure for disputes over jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal once arbitral proceedings have been initiated and what time limits exist for jurisdictional objections?

The arbitral tribunal is solely competent to rule on its own jurisdiction and on the validity of the arbitration agreement ex officio or after an objection by a party, which must be raised when the first defence document in the arbitration proceedings is submitted, immediately after the arbitral tribunal is constituted as such.

If the arbitration proceedings have already been initiated, the ordinary court must refrain from ruling on the arbitrators’ jurisdiction until an arbitral award has been made.

Parties cannot be precluded from raising jurisdictional objections at their discretion.

Arbitral proceedings

22   Place and language of arbitration

Failing prior agreement of the parties, what is the default mechanism for the place of arbitration and the language of the arbitral proceedings?

If parties have failed to determine the place of arbitration, then this is designated by the arbitrators, taking into account the particular circumstances of the case, including the convenience of the parties (article 20.1 Law No. 2735/99). However, arbitrators have the discretion to determine the place of arbitration according to the needs of the evidence process, like the place of deposition of the witnesses (article 20.2 Law No. 2735/99).

As far as the language of the arbitration is concerned (ie, the written material, the oral procedure and the arbitral award), if the parties have failed to agree on the language it is up to the arbitral tribunal to determine it, taking into account the translation costs for the trial and the existing documents exchanged between the parties (article 22 Law No. 2735/99).

23   Commencement of arbitration

How are arbitral proceedings initiated?

The arbitral proceedings are initiated by the lawful service of the original arbitration document to the other party, mentioning the name, legal seat or address of the parties, duly signed by the legal representative or the authorised lawyer of the initiating party.

The arbitration document must have as its content the declaration of the initiating party to resolve the described dispute by arbitration, the appointment of the arbitrator of the initiating party with an invitation to the other party to appoint its own arbitrator or the request submitted to any competent third party to proceed to the appointment of the arbitral tribunal as a whole or only of the umpire. It must also include a brief historical background, the legal grounds of the case and the requested claim (article 21, 23 Law No. 2735/99).

24   Hearing

Is a hearing required and what rules apply?

If there is no explicit agreement it is the arbitral tribunal that decides, according to the selected procedural rules, whether the procedure should be only in writing or include an oral part regarding deposition of witnesses, presentation of the legal positions by counsel, cross-examination of the litigant parties, etc. However, if a party requests an oral hearing, the arbitral court must hold hearings.

Any kind of written documents deposited by the parties with the court must be exchanged between them (article 24 Law No. 2735/99).

As a general rule, the principle of due process and equal treatment of the litigant parties must govern the hearing process (article 18 Law No. 2735/99).

25   Evidence

By what rules is the arbitral tribunal bound in establishing the facts of the case? What types of evidence are admitted and how is the taking of evidence conducted?

The evidential documents and witnesses’ testimonies are freely evaluated by the arbitral tribunal, according to the selected procedural rules.

The arbitral tribunal has the right at its discretion to appoint an expert on a litigious issue if the parties have not agreed to appoint an expert jointly or that each party will appoint its own technical consultant (article 26, Law No. 2735/99).

Witnesses are examined in front of the tribunal by the parties and their counsel.

There is no tendency to seek guidance from the IBA Rules, but parties can agree on a recourse to them, provided that they are compatible with the selected procedural rules.

26   Court involvement

In what instances can the arbitral tribunal request assistance from a court and in what instances may courts intervene?

The arbitral tribunal or one of the litigant parties has the right to request the assistance of the ordinary courts if it needs assistance with the production of documents, the deposition under oath of a witness or the mandatory appearance of a witness, etc (article 27 Law No. 2735/99).

27   Confidentiality

Is confidentiality ensured?

There is no specific provision that the proceedings must be kept confidential. However, as a matter of principle, confidentiality is the rule, and the proceedings are conducted in private at the discretion of the parties. The arbitrators’ collective decisions during the proceedings and deliberations for the issuance of the arbitral award are required to be confidential.

The confidentiality is lifted once the arbitral award is deposited with the Secretariat of the first instance court of the place of arbitration, if so requested by one of the parties (article 32.5 Law No. 2735/99).

Interim measures

28. Interim measures by the courts

What interim measures may be ordered by courts before and after arbitration proceedings have been initiated? (In particular: is there any exclusivity for the courts or for the arbitral tribunal?)

Interim measures on the specific subject matter of the arbitration may be ordered by the ordinary courts before the arbitration proceedings have been initiated if there is an imminent risk of irreparable prejudice or damage of a litigious right (article 9 Law No. 2735/99).

Once the arbitral tribunal is constituted, then interim measures can be ordered concurrently either by ordinary courts or the arbitral tribunal, on a first petition basis, unless the arbitration agreement specifically precludes the ordinary courts from ordering interim measures (article 17.1 Law No. 2735/99).

29   Interim measures by the arbitral tribunal

What interim measures may the arbitral tribunal order after it is constituted? In which instances can security for costs be ordered by an arbitral tribunal?

The arbitral tribunal may order the interim measures that it deems appropriate and necessary, pursuant to the lex fori of the tribunal, unless the arbitration agreement explicitly prohibits them.

Interim measures can be, inter alia:

•     injunctive relief;

•     security for costs;

•     provisional attachment of moveables or immoveables;

•     preservation of evidences; or

•     disclosure or display of documents.

The one-member court of first instance is the competent court to implement and enforce the interim measures ordered by the arbitral tribunal, which is not equipped with the relevant power by the law (article 17.2 Law No. 2735/99).

The ordered interim measure may be repealed or modified upon the request of either party (article 17.3 Law No. 2735/99).

Awards

30   Decisions by the arbitral tribunal

Failing party agreement, is it sufficient if decisions by the arbitral tribunal are made by a majority of all its members or is a unanimous vote required? What are the consequences for the award if an arbitrator dissents?

The arbitral award can be made by a majority of all its members and there is no need for a unanimous vote. If there is no majority the vote of the president of the tribunal overrules the vote of the other member or members of it (article 29 Law No. 2735/99).

31   Dissenting opinions

How does your domestic arbitration law deal with dissenting opinions?

The dissenting opinion must always be issued after the arbitral award is rendered, as a part of it.

32   Form and content requirements

What form and content requirements exist for an award?

The award must be issued in writing and must comprise (articles 31.2 to 31.4, Law No. 2735/99):

•     the names of the arbitrators;

•     the place and date of the arbitration;

•     the names of the litigant parties;

•     the arbitration agreement and the specific subject matter of the arbitration;

•     the statement of the facts;

•     the decision with its reasoning, unless a private agreement or settlement is the final subject of the award;

•     the signatures of all the arbitrators or at least the majority of them (article 31.1 Law No. 2735/99); and

•     date of the issuance of the award.

33. Time limit for award

Does the award have to be rendered within a certain time limit under your domestic arbitration law? (If so, can the time limit be extended and does an extension require the parties’ consent?)

The award must be rendered within a reasonable period.

The Arbitral Tribunal can designate the time limit in which to render an award. The time limit can be extended by a n Arbitral Tribunal ad hoc decision.

34   Date of award

For what time limits is the date of the award decisive and for what time limits is the date of delivery of the award decisive?

The date of the award is decisive as it is counted as the start date with regard to the statute of limitations.

The date of delivery is decisive: for 30 days after such date either party has the right to request the interpretation and correction of the award. Additionally, for three months after such date the parties may challenge and set aside the award.

35 Types of awards

What types of awards are possible and what types of relief may the arbitral tribunal grant?

The arbitral tribunal may render alternately:

•     a partial award (ie, one that resolves one or some of issues referred to arbitration);

•     a final award (ie, one that resolves all the issues referred to arbitration);

•     a consent award if the parties reach a settlement; or

•     interim measures (see question 28).

36   Termination of proceedings

By what other means than an award can proceedings be terminated?

The arbitration is terminated with the issuance of the arbitral award by the tribunal.

However, proceedings can be terminated when a settlement has been reached between the litigant parties, the parties mutually agree to complete the proceedings, if the applicant party withdraws its application for an award or if the continuance of the proceedings is impossible or redundant (articles 32.1 and 32.2, Law No. 2735/99).

37   Cost allocation and recovery

How are the costs of the arbitral proceedings allocated in awards? What costs are recoverable?

If the parties have not agreed beforehand on the allocation of the arbitration costs, the arbitrators have the discretionary power to allocate the costs between the parties, according to the final outcome of the case and the circumstances, usually at the expense of the defeated party (article 32.4 Law No. 2735/99).

The recovery of the costs includes the administrative cost of the arbitration proceedings, experts’ fees and attorneys’ fees, but the costs awarded are usually much lower than the actual costs and expenses paid by the party.

If the recoverable costs are not designated in the arbitral award the allocation can be done in a separate arbitral award (article 32.4 Law No. 2735/99).

38   Interest

May interest be awarded for principal claims and for costs and at what rate?

Interest can be awarded for the adjudicated claim according to a statutory designation of its rate from time to time. Such interest starts to be calculated from the date of the service of the arbitration document to the adversary party.

Proceedings subsequent to issuance of award

39   Interpretation and correction of awards

Does the arbitral tribunal have the power to correct or interpret an award on its own or at the parties’ initiative? What time limits apply?

Each party has the right, within 30 days of the service of the award, to request from the same arbitral tribunal the correction of an award concerning miscalculations, typing or editing errors or to request the interpretation of a specific part of the award, without altering its final orders. The tribunal has the right to proceed accordingly either ipso jure after the issuance of the award or after a request within 30 days from the service of the award to either party (article 33 Law No. 2735/99).

40   Challenge of awards

How and on what grounds can awards be challenged and set aside?

The arbitral award may be set aside by filing an annulment petition before the court of appeal of the area where the award was issued (article 34, Law No. 2735/99). Such a petition must be filed within three months after the service of the award to the party filing the claim.

The arbitral award can be set aside if the claimant party proves any of the following:

•     one of the parties to the arbitration agreement referred to in article 7 of Law No. 2735/99 did not have the capacity to sign such an agreement according to the law applicable to them;

•     the arbitration agreement is not valid according to the provisions of the governing law of it or, failing any indication of the governing law, under Greek law;

•     the claimant party was not properly notified of the arbitrator’s appointment or of the arbitration proceedings, or for any other reason that was not its fault it failed to put forward its arguments;

•     the arbitrators’ decision refers to a dispute not included in the arbitration agreement, or contains provisions that go beyond the terms of the agreement. However, if the provisions that are covered by the agreement can be separated from those that are not covered, the arbitral award may be revoked only as to the latter provisions; or

•     the tribunal’s composition or the arbitral procedure was not consistent with the provisions of the parties’ agreement or, if there is no such agreement, compatible with the Law No. 2735/99.

In addition, the arbitrators’ decision may be set aside if the tribunal, following the filing of a respective claim, rules ipso jure whether the subject matter of the dispute is not subject to arbitration under Greek law or the award is in conflict with international public policy, as defined in article 33 of the Greek Civil Code.

The right to challenge an arbitral award cannot be exercised in a way that manifestly exceeds the limits imposed by good faith, the ethics of transactions or the social or economic purpose of such right  (GCC, article 281).

41   Levels of appeal

How many levels of appeal are there? How long does it generally take until a challenge is decided at each level? Approximately what costs are incurred at each level? How are costs apportioned among the parties?

The arbitral award can be set aside for the above-mentioned reasons to the court of appeal of the area where the award was issued within one year after the filing. The court of appeal decision can be appealed to the Supreme Court of Greece solely on the grounds of legal questions within one year after the issuance of the appeal decision.

In total, the completion of all available appeal procedures can take two to three years.

Costs are allocated by the civil courts at their discretion, usually at the expense of the defeated party, but they are generally much lower than the actual costs and expenses of the party.

42   Recognition and enforcement

What requirements exist for recognition and enforcement of domestic and foreign awards, what grounds exist for refusing recognition and enforcement, and what is the procedure?

Domestic arbitral awards, once all appeal remedies have been exhausted or are no longer available, constitute res judicata and are directly enforceable from the date they are issued, according to article 35 of Law No. 2735/99.

A foreign arbitral award, irrespective of the country in which it was issued, shall be recognised if all the following requirements, in accordance with article 903 of the GCCP, are met:

•     the arbitration agreement is valid according to the provisions of the applicable law;

•     the subject of the arbitral award is subject to arbitration;

•     the award is not subject to any kind of appeal or revocation;

•     the defeated party had the opportunity to defend itself by a counsel during the arbitration proceedings;

•     the award is not contrary to a decision issued by a Greek court judging the same dispute and constituting res judicata for the parties to the foreign arbitral award; and

•     the award is not contrary to the prevailing rules of Greek public policy or morals.

The enforcement of foreign awards shall be conducted in accordance with articles 905 to 906 of the GCCP. The court will declare the foreign award as enforceable if it is deemed so by the country where it was issued and it is not contrary to the rules of international public policy or morals.

Foreign arbitral awards constitute res judicata and are enforceable from the date they are issued, according to article 35 of Law No. 2735/99. If a party files a petition for an arbitral award to be set aside pursuant to article 34 of Law No. 2735/99, it may also ask that the enforceability of the award be suspended until a final decision is made on the claim. The competent court may decide whether it will uphold the enforceability of the award or not.

Article 36 of Law No. 2735/99 explicitly provides that the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards is made pursuant to the New York Convention adopted in Greece by Legislative Decree 4220/1961, even though such awards may not fall under it, thus ensuring the uniformity of the regime of recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in Greece.

A foreign arbitral award is recognised without any further procedure, provided that the recognition requirements set out in article 4, paragraph 1 of the New York Convention are met and none of the obstacles referred to in article 5 of the same Convention exist. Greece will only recognise and enforce foreign arbitral awards under the New York Convention where the award is issued in a contracting state and is considered commercial under Greek law.

43   Enforcement of foreign awards

What is the attitude of domestic courts to the enforcement of foreign awards set aside by the courts at the place of arbitration?

The application for recognition and enforcement of a foreign arbitral award may be dismissed by the competent Greek court of first instance of the area where the debtor is domiciled or resides, if it has not yet become binding on the parties or has been set aside or suspended by the competent court of the country in which, or under the law of which, that award was made, on the grounds of article V(1)(e) of the New York Convention.

Of course, the provisions of the New York Convention (article VII(1)) should not affect the validity of provisions in bilateral or multilateral agreements to which Greece is a member if they are more favourable than the former.

44   Cost of enforcement

What costs are incurred in enforcing awards?

The enforcement costs include the administrative expenses and fees for the bailiff, the notary public and the legal fees.

Other

45   Judicial system influence

What dominant features of your judicial system might exert an influence on an arbitrator from your country?

Greece is a civil law country and the rules of evidence are determined in the Code of Civil Procedure. Therefore, there is no provision or any tendency to apply US-style discovery. Written statements, with prior notice to the other parties, are common practice (including party officers’ statements) but they are freely evaluated by the arbitral tribunal.

46   Regulation of activities

What particularities exist in your jurisdiction that a foreign practitioner should be aware of?

There are few particularities. Arbitrators can freely work in Greece and they are not subject to VAT as legal services are, at present, entirely exempt from VAT. A possible hindrance could be the Greek language, if the applicable law is the Greek law. In any event, a legal opinion from Greek counsel or from the Greek Institute of Foreign and International Law can be helpful.

UPDATE & TRENDS

Are there any emerging trends or hot topics in arbitration in your country?

What are the main recent decisions in the field of international investment arbitration to which your country was a party? Are there any pending investment arbitration cases in which the country you are reporting about is a party?

 

PLEASE PROVIDE AN ANSWER

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