Turkey - Baker and McKenzie International Arbitration Yearbook 2014-2015
Originally from Baker and McKenzie International Arbitration Yearbook 2014-2015
A. LEGISLATION, TRENDS AND TENDENCIES
International arbitration in Turkey continues to be governed by the International Arbitration Law of 2001 (“IAL”),4 to which no legislative amendment was made in 2014. However, there were two legislative changes in 2014 affecting arbitration.
The first amendment concerns the competent court with respect to arbitration. Prior to the amendment to Article 5 of the Law on the Formation, Duties and Powers of Civil Courts of First Instance and District Courts of 20045 in June 2014, uncertainty prevailed as to which court possessed competence over disputes falling within the ambit of the IAL, as well as over disputes regarding the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards under the New York Convention and/or the Turkish Private International Law of 2007 (“TPIL”).6 Article 3(1) of the IAL provides that, where judicial intervention is permitted by the IAL, the competent court is the civil court of first instance (asliye hukuk mahkemesi). Article 60(2) of the TPIL identifies the court of first instance (asliye mahkemesi) as the competent court with respect to recognition and enforcement proceedings. It was unclear whether Article 5(1) of the Turkish Commercial Code of 2011 (“TCC”),7 which provides that commercial courts possess competence with respect to all commercial disputes, prevailed over Article 3(1) of the IAL and Article 60(2) of the TPIL. Although court decisions suggested that it did prevail,8 the uncertainty remained. This debate gained momentum after the amendment to Article 5(3) of the TCC on June 26, 2012, which provides that the relationship between the civil court of first instance and the commercial court of first instance is one of competence, a matter that requires ex officio consideration, and not one of division of workload.