Settlement of the Dispute - Chapter 24 - 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.
24.I. 24(1) OF THE ARBACT
Efforts to persuade the parties to reach an amicable settlement to the dispute should not be just formal but should depend on the specific conditions of the proceedings. A significant tool is the lesser formality of proceedings pursuant to Section 18(2) of the ArbAct, which allows arbitrators to conduct proceedings in a form approaching a certain dialogue with the parties. Arbitrators may attempt to persuade the parties to reach an amicable settlement to the dispute in different ways.
The opinion that tends to be voiced in international practice is that efforts to persuade the parties must not include a situation where the arbitrators give the parties a hint of their standpoint on the case, no matter how preliminary, if any or all of the arbitrators have already arrived at such a standpoint. Although arbitrators should refrain from forming any opinions until all of the evidence has been taken, an assessment of circumstances of fact and law, and hence an evaluation of the evidence, is always a subjective matter, and arbitrators often fail to withhold their own interim evaluation. Under the corresponding international standards, they must not convey this to the parties, because it would violate the principle of equality between the parties, as expressed in domestic provisions under Sections 18 and 19(2) of the ArbAct.