Islamic Republic of Iran - Chapter 4 - The Practitioner's Guide to Arbitration in the Middle East and North Africa
Jamal Seifi, Dr. Jamal Sefi & Associates
A. Arbitration Laws
1. Please identify by title and date the principal laws and regulations governing (i) domestic and (ii) international arbitration in your State.
Historically, Iran’s arbitration laws go back approximately one hundred years when the Provisional Civil Procedure Code of 1906 was enacted containing provisions regulating arbitration. Further legislation on arbitration was enacted, including the Arbitration Acts of 1927, 1928, and 1934. Finally, arbitration provisions were enacted as an extensive chapter in the 1939 Civil Procedure Code, which remained in force until April 2000, when it was replaced by a new Civil Procedure Code which included extensive provisions regulating arbitration. Iran’s Law on International Commercial Arbitration was enacted in 1997 with the aim of regulating international commercial arbitration. Currently, arbitration under Iranian law is governed by (i) the Civil Procedure Code (the CPC, Articles 454-501) and (ii) the Law on International Commercial Arbitration (LICA). The first, essentially, governs domestic arbitration, although instances of arbitration with foreign elements cannot be excluded from its ambit. The second exclusively applies to international arbitration.
These two pieces of legislation are not the only sources governing arbitration. Indeed, many other laws may have a bearing on arbitration, whether domestic or international. For instance, the provisions of the CPC other than those exclusively dealing with arbitration may be relevant to such issues as proper service of the process, conduct of the proceedings, opportunity to present one’s case and so on. Further, since Iran’s accession to the New York Convention in the year 2001, and in view of the provision of Article 9 of the Civil Code of Iran (the CC) declaring all international conventions ratified by the Majlis (the Parliament) as having the force of the law of land, the provisions of the New York Convention concerning recognition of the arbitration agreement and its form and effect should be considered part of Iranian arbitration laws.