Legal Normative Documents

LAW ON COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION

29/10/2014 17:59

    NATIONAL ASSEMBLY                                                           SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM

          No: 54-2010-QH12                                                               Independence – Freedom – Happiness

       

LAW ON COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION 

National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Legislature XII, 7th Session

(17 June 2010) 

Pursuant to the 1992 Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

as amended by Resolution 51-20010-QH10;

The National Assembly hereby promulgates the Law on Commercial Arbitration. 

CHAPTER 1

General Provisions

Article 1: Governing scope

This Law regulates commercial arbitration competence, arbitration forms, arbitration institutions and arbitrators; order and procedures for arbitration; rights, obligations and responsibilities of parties to arbitration proceedings; competence of courts over arbitration activities, organization and operation of foreign arbitration in Vietnam and enforcement of arbitral awards.

Article 2: Competence of arbitration to resolve disputes:

1. Disputes between parties arising from commercial activities.

2. Disputes arising between parties at least one of whom is engaged in commercial activities.

3. Other disputes between parties which the law stipulates shall [or may] be resolved by arbitration.

Article 3: Interpretation of terms

In this Law, the following terms shall be construed as follows:

1. Commercial arbitration means a dispute resolution method agreed by the parties and conducted in accordance with the provisions of this Law.

2. Arbitration agreement means an agreement between the parties to use arbitration to resolve a dispute which may arise or which has arisen.

3. Parties in dispute mean Vietnamese or foreign individuals, bodies or organizations which participate in arbitration proceedings in the capacity of claimants or respondents.

4. Dispute with a foreign element means a dispute arising in commercial relations involving, or in some other legal relationships involving a foreign element as prescribed in the Civil Code.

5. Arbitrator means a person selected by the parties or appointed by an arbitration centre or by a court to resolve dispute in accordance with the provisions of this Law.

6. Institutional arbitration means the form of dispute resolution at and arbitration centre in accordance with the provisions of this Law and the procedural rules of such arbitration centre.

7. Ad hoc arbitration means the form of dispute resolution in accordance with the provisions of this Law and procedures as agreed by the parties.

8. Dispute resolution location means the location where the arbitration tribunal conducts the dispute resolution as agreed by the parties or as decided by the arbitration tribunal if the parties do not have such an agreement. If the dispute resolution location is within the territory of Vietnam then the award must be deemed to have been rendered in Vietnam irrespective of the location at which the arbitration tribunal conducted sessions in order to issue such award.

9. Arbitral decision means a decision of the arbitration tribunal during the dispute resolution process.

10. Arbitration award means a decision of the arbitration tribunal resolving the entire dispute and terminating the arbitration process.

11. Foreign arbitration means institutional arbitration or an ad hoc arbitration selected by the parties; and established and operating in accordance with foreign law or foreign arbitration procedural rules.

12. Foreign arbitral award means an award rendered by foreign arbitration either inside or outside the territory of Vietnam in order to resolve a dispute as agreed by the parties.

Article 4: Principles for dispute resolution by arbitration:

1. Arbitrators must respect the agreement of the parties if it does not breach prohibitions and is not contrary to social morals.

2. Arbitrators must be independent, objective and impartial and must comply with the provisions of law.

3. Parties in dispute shall have equal rights and obligations. Arbitration tribunals shall be responsible to facilitate the parties to exercise their rights and to discharge their obligations.

4. Dispute resolution by arbitration shall be conducted in private, unless otherwise agreed by the parties.

5. An arbitral award shall be final.

Article 5: Conditions for dispute resolution by arbitration

1. A dispute shall be resolved by arbitration if the parties have an arbitration agreement. An arbitration agreement may be made either prior to or after the dispute arises.

2. If one of the parties to an arbitration agreement is an individual who dies or who loses capacity for acts, then the arbitration agreement shall remain effective against the heir or legal representative [respectively] of such former individual, unless otherwise agreed by the parties.

3. If one of the parties to an arbitration agreement is an organization which must terminate  its operations, becomes bankrupts, dissolve, consolidates, merges, demerges, separates or converts its operational form, then the arbitration agreement shall remain effective against the organization which succeeds to the rights and obligations of such former organization, unless otherwise agreed by the parties.

Article 6: Court refusal to accept jurisdiction if there is an arbitration agreement

Where the parties in dispute already have an arbitration agreement but one party institutes court proceedings, the court must refuse to accept jurisdiction unless the arbitration agreement is void or incapable of being performed.

Article 7: Determining which court has competence over arbitration activities

1. If the parties already have an agreement to choose a specific court, then such court as chosen by the parties shall be competent court.

2. If the parties do not have an agreement to choose a court, then the competent court shall be determined as follows:

(a) For appointment of an arbitrator to establish an ad hoc arbitration tribunal, the competent court shall be the court in the place where the respondent is an individual, or where the respondent has its head office if the respondent is an organization. If there are a number of respondents, then the competent court shall be the court in the place where one of such respondents resides or has its head office.

If the respondent resides or has its head office overseas, then the competent court shall be the court in the place where the claimant resides or has its head office.

(b) For the replacement of an arbitrator in an ad hoc arbitration tribunal, the competent court shall be the court in the place where the arbitration tribunal resolves the dispute;

(c) For an appeal against the decision of an arbitration tribunal that the arbitration agreement was void or incapable of being performed or about the jurisdiction of the arbitration tribunal, the competent court shall be the court in the place where the arbitration tribunal issued [such] decision;

(d) For an application to a court to collect evidence, the competent court shall be the court in the place where such evidence requiring collection exist;

(dd) For an application to a court to grant interim relief, the competent court shall be the court in the place where the relief needs to be applied;

(e) For summoning witnesses, the competent court shall be the court shall be the court in the place where the witnesses reside;

(f) For an application to set aside an arbitral award or to register an ad hoc arbitral award, the competent court shall be the court in the place where the arbitration tribunal rendered such award.

3. Courts with competence over the arbitration activities prescribed in clauses 1 and 2 of this article shall be people’s courts of provinces and cities under central authority.

Article 8: Determining which enforcement agency has competence to enforce arbitral awards and interim relief decisions of arbitration tribunals.

1. The civil enforcement agency with competence to enforce an arbitral award shall be the civil enforcement agency in the province or city under central authority where the arbitration tribunal rendered the award.

2. The civil enforcement agency with competence to enforce an interim relief decision of an arbitration tribunal shall be the civil enforcement agency in the province or city under central authority where the relief needs to be applied.

Article 9: Negotiation and conciliation during arbitration proceedings

Parties shall have the freedom, during the process of arbitration proceedings, to negotiate and reach agreement with each other to resolve their disputes or to request the arbitration tribunal to mediate in order for the parties to reach agreement and resolve their dispute.

Article 10: Language       

1. For disputes without a foreign element, the language to be used in arbitration proceedings shall be Vietnamese, expect in a dispute to which at least one party is an enterprise with foreign invested capital. If a party in dispute cannot use Vietnamese, then it may use an interpreter [to translate] into Vietnamese.

2. For disputes with a foreign element [and/or] disputes where at least one party is an enterprise with foreign invested capital, the language to be used in arbitration proceedings shall be as agreed by the parties. If the parties do not have an agreement, then the language to be used in arbitration proceedings shall be as decided by the arbitration tribunal.

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