Taking of Evidence; Procedural Acts - Chapter 20 - 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.
20.I. SECTION 20(1) OF THE ARBACT
As noted repeatedly in the commentaries on individual provisions of the Arbitration Act in this publication, arbitration proceedings are proceedings before a private-law entity (private-law entities) which hears and adjudicates on disputes within the bounds admitted by law and by arrangement of the parties contained in the arbitration agreement. Therefore, procedural decisions taken in arbitration may be binding and enforceable, in principle, only in relation to the parties to the dispute/proceedings. The only exception in this respect is a final arbitral award, which is also binding upon bodies of state power (see the commentary on Sections 23 and 28 of the ArbAct). This applies not only to ecisions erminating proceedings within the meaning of Section 23 of the ArbAct but also to decisions which are issued in accordance with Section 19 of the ArbAct and which are of a procedural nature and are intended solely for the efficiency of proceedings. In this context, attention should be drawn again to an essential difference between decisions on procedure in proceedings under Section 19 of the ArbAct and decisions under Section 23 of the ArbAct. These are qualitatively different decisions, and there are occasionally errors in practice in that decisions on procedure in proceedings under Section 19, in particular, are confused with resolutions as one of the possible means of terminating proceedings under Section 23(b) of the ArbAct. Procedural decisions concerning procedure in proceedings (regardless of how they are termed and no matter in what form, are clear and unmistakable for the parties as they are issued or declared) may therefore be binding only upon parties to the arbitration, but they are not binding upon any other entity that is not a party to the dispute (in exceptional cases, they may also be binding upon intervenors, if admitted).1