Bulgaria - Arbitration Law and Practice in Central and Eastern Europe
Silvy Vasilev Chernev, Ph.D. (Bulgaria) is President of the Court of Arbitration at the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Originally from Arbitration Law and Practice in Central and Eastern Europe
1. GENERAL LEGAL FRAMEWORK
1.1 National law
What is the current status? When was it enacted? Have there already been amendments?
The current legislative framework for arbitration in the Republic of Bulgaria is provided by the Civil Procedure Code (the “CPC)” and the Law on International Commercial Arbitration1 (the “LICA”).2
Arbitration, as a means for alternative dispute resolution, has existed in Bulgaria since the first Bulgarian Law on Civil Procedure was adopted in 1892. Similar provisions were later reproduced in the second Bulgarian Law on Civil Procedure enacted in 1930. The first arbitrations took place within the system of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (the “BCCI”) after 1896, when rules concerning arbitration were adopted by the newly founded BCCI. Arbitration, however, did not acquire great popularity in Bulgaria before World War II for various reasons. One major obstacle was that it was originally envisaged that voluntary arbitration could only be used to resolve existing disputes, and not future ones. Another important factor was that the law did not oblige arbitrators to apply the relevant legislation with respect to the substance of the case. The practical result was that the sheer bulk of the disputes were decided by arbitrators acting as amiable compositeurs (ex aequo et bono). The fact that Bulgaria never ratified the 1923 Geneva Protocol on Arbitration Clauses or the Convention on the Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards was an additional obstacle.