Tunisia - Arbitration Law and Practice in Africa
Originally from Arbitration Law and Practice in Africa
I. INTRODUCTION: ARBITRATION IN TUNISIA HISTORY AND INFRASTRUCTURE
A. History and Current Legislation on Arbitration
1. Historical evolution of law relating to arbitration
The history of arbitration in Tunisia goes back to the beginning of the 20th century. Both the law on regional courts dated 1896 and the Code of Civil Procedure dated 1910 did not address arbitration explicitly. A scholar interpreted this legislative silence as outlawing arbitration, supported through his interpretation of the restraining provisions of the Code of Obligations and Contracts of 1906, which mentioned arbitration twice, in order to forbid it for the companies’ liquidator and the proxy.
Before the independence in 1956, the referral to arbitration was explicitly limited to the resolution of disputes related to mining exploitations and public markets.
The Code of Civil and Commercial procedure enacted in1959 opened the way for arbitration, by providing rules governing arbitration, however the rigidity of some of its provisions led to inconsistent case law. This included recognizing the validity of referring disputes to arbitration in some cases and the possibility to grant enforcement to unmotivated foreign awards, annulling arbitration clauses in other cases involving contracts where the state is party. Such inconsistency compelled the legislator to enact the Code of Arbitration, which has been in force since 1993.