Bulgaria - Chapter 2 - Arbitration Law and Practice in Central and Eastern Europe - Second Edition
1. GENERAL LEGAL FRAMEWORK
1.1 National law
a) Current status
What is the current status? When was it enacted? Have there been amendments?
The legislative regulation of arbitration in the Republic of Bulgaria at the present moment is provided for by the Civil Procedure Code (“CPC)”, the Law on International Commercial Arbitration (“LICA”) and concerning recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards – The Code on International Private Law (“CIPL”).
Arbitration as an alternative dispute resolution means has existed in Bulgaria since the first Bulgarian Law on Civil Procedure was adopted in 1892. Similar provisions were later reproduced in the amended version of the Bulgarian Law on Civil Procedure enacted in 1930. The first arbitrations took place within the system of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (“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 due to various reasons. A major obstacle was the envisaged admissibility of voluntary arbitration only to existing and not to future disputes. 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 and the Convention on the Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards was an additional negative factor.