An arbitration agreement gives rise to procedural rights and obligations. The main procedural obligation can be framed as a negative one: A promise not to resort to courts of law (but for procedural assistance) if a dispute within the scope of the arbitration agreement should arise between the parties. The negative obligation is combined with a promise not to hinder, i.e. tolerate that a third person or body of third persons may finally settle such disputes with a legally enforceable decision. Notwithstanding this negative framing, one usually speaks about an obligation to arbitrate rather than an obligation not to resort to courts.
An arbitration agreement also gives rise to substantive rights and obligation. The agreement may, e.g., entail obligations and rights regarding secrecy. There may also be obligations and rights regarding the costs of the proceedings. The arbitration agreement is filled out with provisions of the 1999 Arbitration Act (Lag [1999:116] om skiljeförfarande) [hereinafter the Act]. From its sec. 38 follows, for instance, a conditional obligation in favour of the arbitrators to pay a security amount.
The question whether an arbitration agreement is effective will ultimately be resolved by a court of law if one of the parties so insists, although the arbitrators according to sec. 2 of the Act have the competence to decide whether they have jurisdiction or not. There are two routes for a question regarding the existence of an arbitration agreement to end up in court.