Priority of International Treaties - Chapter 47 - 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.
47.I. SCOPE OF THE SOURCES OF INTERNATIONAL ORIGIN APPLICABLE UNDER SECTION 47 OF THE ARBACT
Similar to a number of other provisions in other fields of law, Section 47 of the ArbAct stipulates the priority of international treaties binding upon the Czech Republic (i.e. providing they are, inter alia, promulgated in the Collection of Laws, subject to the requirement of reciprocity and the absence of any declaration of lack of reciprocity, etc.) which have priority over provisions of national origin, in this case rules incorporated in the provisions of the Arbitration Act. In relation to arbitration, this mainly concerns two conventions which are mentioned many times elsewhere and which are referred to in the commentary to the Act, namely the New York Convention (NYConv) and the European Convention (EConv). In the field of international arbitration, specifically the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards, these two conventions were historically preceded by two international contractual acts, namely the Protocol on Arbitration Clauses, adopted and signed in Geneva on 24 September 1923 and promulgated in the Czechoslovak Republic under No. 191/1931 of the Collection of Laws and Regulations, and the Convention on the Execution of Foreign Arbitral Awards adopted and signed in Geneva on 16 September 1927 and promulgated in the Czechoslovak Republic under No. 192/1931 of the Collection of Laws and Regulations.5 Both of these contractual acts, which undoubtedly played a major role in the past from the perspective of arbitration, are still part of our national legal system. Today, however, considering the comprehensive provisions of the New York Convention (and the number of countries bound by this Convention), as well as the European Convention, the two older international treaties, dating back to the first half of the 20th century, have negligible practical importance. This is the reason why they are also omitted from the scope of this book and the full texts of the two acts are not enclosed.