Acceptance of Appointment; Resignation - Chapter 5 - Arbitration Law of Czech Republic: Practice and Procedure
Alexander J. Bělohlávek, Univ. Professor, Dr.iur., Mgr., Dipl. Ing. oec/MB, Dr.h.c. Lawyer admitted and practising in Prague/CZE (Branch N.J./US), Senior Partner of the Law Offices Bělohlávek, Dept. of Law, Faculty of Economics, Ostrava, CZE, Dept. of Int. and European Law, Faculty of Law, Masaryk University, Brno, CZE (visiting), Chairman of the Commission on Arbitration ICC National Committee CZE, Arbitrator in Prague, Vienna, Kiev etc. Member of ASA, DIS, Austrian Arb. Association. The President of the WJA – the World Jurist Association, Washington D.C./USA.
5.I. SECTION 5(1) AND (2) OF THE ARBACT
The office of arbitrator may be accepted by anyone who meets the statutory requirements (Section 4 of the ArbAct). Nevertheless, it would be incorrect to suggest that an award rendered by a person who has accepted the appointment without meeting conditions prescribed for an arbitrator cannot form a basis for enforcement. Non-compliance with the conditions governing the office of an arbitrator may only constitute a ground for annulment of an award or an obstacle to the enforcement of an award if objections are competently raised in accordance with Section 31 et seq.
Prior to accepting the office, arbitrators should consider carefully whether they will be able to perform their duties in a due and proper manner throughout the proceedings. The law requires that the acceptance of the office of arbitrator be drawn up in writing to reflect the importance attached to this act (the “receptum arbitrii”). This act need not be addressed to the party appointing the arbitrator; it may simply take the form of a written statement that is then duly filed, with the party that appointed the arbitrator only being notified of the arbitrator’s decision in another form, for example at the first hearing in the case. As written acceptance of an appointment is a prerequisite to hold office as an arbitrator, it is a factor on which the hearing of the case is contingent and should be evidenced in the documents recording the proceedings and archived in accordance with Section 29 of the ArbAct. In any event, arbitrators or permanent arbitral institutions should be able to prove compliance with this condition at all times; this is not an obligation arising only upon delivery of documentation for archiving pursuant to Section 29 of the ArbAct, assuming the statement in question is included in that documentation.