Law 2735/1999 (the Law) governs international commercial arbitration taking place in Greece. It is based on the UNCITRAL model law.

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1 Ελλάδα Greece

2 Europe Key points Law 2735/1999 (the Law) governs international commercial arbitration taking place in Greece. It is based on the UNCITRAL model law. There are two major arbitral bodies: The Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping (specialising in shipping disputes). In recent years, another institution, the Piraeus Association for Maritime Arbitration, specialising in maritime arbitrations has been founded with the assistance of the Hellenic Society of Maritime Lawyers. The parties are free to decide the procedural rules of the arbitration subject to certain mandatory rules of law. Greece is a signatory to the New York Convention making enforcement of foreign arbitral awards under the Convention straight forward. Confidentiality The Greek Constitution provides that all court cases are conducted in public. However, this is not the case for arbitration procedures, which are conducted in private and according to the rules set out in the arbitration agreement. There is no formal requirement that the award be made public in order to be considered valid, except when the parties wish to enforce the award in Greece (article 36, the Law). If the parties wish to secure confidentiality, it is advisable to include a confidentiality clause in the arbitration agreement. For a model confidentiality clause, see the Arbitration section on drafting arbitration clauses. 02 Greece July 2010 Arbitration in Europe Norton Rose Group

3 Greece Model arbitration clause Neither the Law nor any of the major arbitral bodies in Greece provide a model arbitration clause. See the Arbitration section for best practice in drafting arbitration clauses. Weblinks Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry Hellenic Chamber of Shipping Piraeus Association for Maritime Arbitration Norton Rose Group Arbitration in Europe July 2010 Greece 03

4 Europe What arbitration bodies are there within the jurisdiction? 1 In Greece, there are two major arbitral bodies: the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI); and the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping (HCS). The latter was established in 1936 and, as its name suggests, carries out arbitrations relating to shipping disputes. Other Greek authorities have also established arbitration bodies (for example, the lawyers Bar Association, and the Technical Committee) in order to deal with specific kinds of disputes. In 2005 the Piraeus Association for Maritime Arbitration (PAMA) was founded, with the assistance of the Hellenic Society of Maritime Lawyers whose members include senior judges, academics, ship-owners, shipping lawyers, bankers and other important figures of the broader maritime sector. The court of first instance also holds a list of arbitrators. 2 Is there an Arbitration Act governing arbitration proceedings, and is it based on the UNCITRAL model law? National arbitration is governed by the respective provisions (articles 867 to 903) of the Greek Code on Civil Procedure (GCCP). These mostly govern purely domestic arbitrations, although they can have an effect on international arbitrations since some of the articles are compulsory and cannot be contracted out of. Law 2735/1999 (the Law) governs international commercial arbitration taking place in Greece. It is based on the UNCITRAL model law (the model law). The scope of the Law is described in article 1, which sets out a number of criteria by which an arbitration is deemed to be international, 04 Greece July 2010 Arbitration in Europe Norton Rose Group

5 Greece as opposed to national. In such a case, the provisions of the Law apply; when the Law does not cover a particular issue of the arbitration, the GCCP is applied to fill any gaps. Most of the Law s provisions give great freedom to the parties and allow them to make their own arrangements. What are the available rules? 3 Both, the Law (in the case of international commercial arbitration proceedings) and the GCCP (in all other cases) provide rules governing arbitration. In addition, both the ACCI and the HCS have sets of published rules. The Presidential Decree 31/1979 provides for the ACCI rules, while the Royal Decree 447/1969 provides for the rules of the HCS. PAMA has published its own set of rules called the Maritime Arbitration Regulations which have also been drafted on the basis of the model law, as well as being influenced by the London Maritime Arbitration Association and the American Arbitration Association s respective rules. Parties are free to decide on the procedural rules of the arbitration subject to mandatory rules of the Law (article 19, the Law).For example, the rules have to provide that the parties will be treated equally and that both parties will be given the opportunity to present their cases. The arbitral tribunal decides whether there will be a hearing of the case or whether the whole procedure will be conducted in writing (article 24, the Law), unless the parties have stipulated the kind of procedure they wish the tribunal to follow. When the parties have not specifically excluded in their agreement the possibility of a hearing taking place, the arbitral tribunal is obliged to conduct such a hearing if either party requests one. Norton Rose Group Arbitration in Europe July 2010 Greece 05

6 Europe The parties may determine the evidential rules which will apply in the arbitration. They may do so either indirectly, when deciding upon the procedural rules, or directly, by determining the rules according to which, for example, the evidence brought will be deemed admissible. If the parties have not made an agreement providing for the applicable rules on evidence, or their agreement is void, it will be up to the arbitral tribunal to determine which rules are the most appropriate. Therefore, depending on what the parties have agreed or what the tribunal has decided, witness evidence may be provided either orally or in writing or both, and cross-examination of witnesses may or may not be allowed. The procedure for disclosing documents will be determined either by agreement between the parties or by the tribunal. If the parties have not agreed otherwise, the arbitral tribunal may appoint one or more experts, either ordering them to submit a report on certain disputed matters, or ordering each party to provide them with all the relevant information and access to documents, merchandise or other objects (article 26, the Law). Unless the parties have agreed otherwise, the experts, after submitting their written or oral reports and upon the request of either party or the tribunal, are obliged to participate in an oral proceeding, in which the parties may ask questions and call other witnesses. It should be noted that the arbitral tribunal, or one of the parties with the tribunal s consent, may ask for the competent state court s help during the evidence procedure. The court may grant this request and assist the tribunal with the gathering of evidence according to the provisions of the GCCP. 06 Greece July 2010 Arbitration in Europe Norton Rose Group

7 Greece What supervision is there of arbitrators and their awards? 4 Under the Law, arbitrators are not supervised by an independent body. They are, however, under an obligation to apply the procedural rules that the parties have chosen. The Law states that there is no procedure for appeal against the award, except where the arbitration agreement itself provides for one. In this case, the arbitration agreement must allow other arbitrators to hear the appeal, setting out all the rules, time limits and procedures governing the appeal (article 35, the Law). Although there is no appeal procedure, the Law (article 34) provides for the annulment of an arbitration award in exceptional circumstances. How quickly can a tribunal be set up? 5 The parties are free to choose the number of arbitrators hearing their case, as well as the procedure by which they will be appointed. Therefore, the speed with which a tribunal can be set up depends upon the agreement of the parties. If the parties have not agreed on the number of arbitrators, article 10 of the Law provides for three arbitrators. If the parties have not agreed on the procedure of the arbitrators appointments, they will be appointed in accordance with article 11. When there are three arbitrators, each side appoints one and these two arbitrators appoint the third one. If one party fails to appoint an arbitrator within 30 days of the request of the other party, or if the two arbitrators cannot reach an agreement as to the third one within 30 days of their appointment, either party can file a request at the one-member court of Norton Rose Group Arbitration in Europe July 2010 Greece 07

8 Europe first instance of the area where the arbitration takes place for the court to appoint the arbitrator(s). Similarly, when there is a sole arbitrator and the parties cannot reach an agreement as to his appointment, he will again be appointed by the court of first instance of the area where the arbitration takes place. In appointing arbitrators, the court of first instance considers the qualities that the parties are looking for according to their agreement, while taking care to ensure the appointment of independent and impartial arbitrators. Where the appointment is made by the court of first instance, its judgment is not subject to appeal by the parties. What happens if one party refuses to participate in the process? 6 If one party refuses to participate in the process of appointing arbitrators, either party is entitled to file an application before the court of first instance asking it to take the necessary measures, unless the arbitration agreement provides otherwise (article 11(4), the Law). What interim measures are available? 7 The interim measures that can be granted by the arbitral tribunal are described in article 17 of the Law. Unless the parties have agreed otherwise, the arbitral tribunal may, upon the request of either party, order the interim measures that it deems necessary in connection with the subject matter of the arbitration. The tribunal may, for example, order the seizure of assets, the granting of a guarantee, the preservation of evidence, or any other measure. 08 Greece July 2010 Arbitration in Europe Norton Rose Group

9 Greece However, these measures may not be ordered against anyone other than the parties to the arbitration agreement. The arbitral tribunal may require security from either party before enforcing interim measures. In particular, the party requesting the interim measure(s) may be required to pay a certain amount as security in case the main claim is not sustained in the final hearing. Arbitration agreements do not prevent the state courts from awarding interim measures regarding the subject matter of the arbitration, either before or after the start of the arbitration proceedings (article 9, the Law). This means that, although the arbitral tribunal has the power to award interim measures, the parties may also address a request for interim measures to the court, without this resulting in a waiver of the arbitration agreement. Although this article is interpreted narrowly by the courts, it could lead to contradictory judgments. As a result, from the time that the request for interim measures is filed before the state courts, the arbitral tribunal may not grant interim measures (article 17(2), the Law). If a party fails to comply with the order made by the tribunal without good reason, the tribunal itself is not given any power to enforce its directions. However, paragraph 2 of article 17 of the Law allows the parties to ask the Court to enforce the interim measures that the arbitral tribunal has ordered. The court s decision regarding the enforceability of the arbitral award on interim measures (mentioned above) may be repealed or modified upon the request of either party (article 17(3), the Law; articles 696 and 698, the GCCP). Injunctive relief A tribunal may order injunctive relief, if it deems it appropriate. Norton Rose Group Arbitration in Europe July 2010 Greece 09

10 Europe Security for costs There is no provision in the Law permitting the tribunal to require security for its own costs, but this possibility cannot be excluded. The tribunal may require security for a party s costs from the claimant, either ex officio or on the request of the party. Pre-arbitration disclosure of documents Under Greek law there is no provision for the disclosure of documents before arbitration. Preservation of evidence The tribunal can take measures to preserve evidence as long as third parties are not affected and it is not contrary to the Greek rules of public order. Specific disclosure The tribunal may order disclosure of specific documents during an arbitration. Use of witnesses Under Greek law there is no provision for securing the attendance of a witness. Appointment of a receiver The appointment of a receiver is a matter of public order and cannot be the subject matter of arbitration proceedings. What right is there to challenge the appointment of an arbitrator? 8 The appointment of an arbitrator may only be challenged if there are facts or information raising justified doubt as to the arbitrator s impartiality, independence, or possession of the qualities that the parties had agreed (article 12, the Law). 10 Greece July 2010 Arbitration in Europe Norton Rose Group

11 Greece A party may ask for the exclusion of the arbitrator that it appointed, or in whose appointment it participated, only for reasons that come to light after the appointment. 9 Can a party appeal the arbitrator s decision and, if so, are there any time limits to be aware of or unusual provisions? Arbitral awards are not subject to appeal. However, parties often attempt to have arbitral awards revoked by filing an annulment petition before the Court of Appeal of the area where the award was issued (article 34, the Law). Such petitions must be filed within three months of the award being handed to the party filing the petition. The arbitral award is annulled if the claimant proves any of the following: One of the parties to the arbitration agreement did not have the capacity to sign such an agreement according to the law applicable to them. The arbitration agreement is not valid according to the provisions of the law that it falls under. The claimant was not properly notified of the arbitrator s appointment or of the arbitration proceedings, or they were for other reasons and without fault unable to put forward their arguments. The arbitrators decision refers to a dispute not included in the arbitration agreement, or contains provisions that supersede the terms of the agreement. (If the provisions that are covered by the agreement can be separated from the ones that are not covered, the arbitral award may be revoked only as to the latter provisions.) Norton Rose Group Arbitration in Europe July 2010 Greece 11

12 Europe The tribunal s composition or the arbitral procedure was not consistent with the provisions of the parties agreement, or with the Law if there is no such agreement. In addition, the arbitrators decision may be revoked if the court that addresses the matter, following the filing of a respective claim, rules that the subject of the dispute is not arbitrable according to the provisions of Greek law or that the arbitral award is contrary to moral considerations and the rules of public policy in general. It is interesting to note that although the parties may agree that the arbitral award shall not be subject to challenge, the position under Greek law is that (even though, strictly speaking, arbitral awards are not subject to appeal) such an agreement cannot prevent a petition for annulment being brought. 10 Is Greece a party to the New York Convention? Yes. 11 Will an arbitration award be enforceable in Greece and, if so, what is the procedure? New York Convention awards Article 36 of the Law provides for the recognition and enforcement of New York Convention awards. Recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards are governed by articles 903, 905 and 906 of the GCCP respectively. A foreign arbitral award is recognised automatically (without any further procedure), provided that the recognition requirements set out in article IV paragraph 1 of the New York Convention are met and none of the grounds for refusal referred to in article V of the Convention exist (see Reference ). 12 Greece July 2010 Arbitration in Europe Norton Rose Group

13 Greece Greece has exercised reservations such that it will only recognise and enforce awards under the New York Convention where the award is issued in a contracting state and is considered commercial under Greek law. The competent court is the one-member court of first instance of the area where the debtor is domiciled or resides. In the event that the debtor is not domiciled or does not reside in Greece, the Court s jurisdiction will depend on whether founding international jurisdiction is possible by virtue of another provision: if, for example, the debtor has assets in Greece. Other foreign awards The recognition of other foreign awards is conducted in accordance with article 903 of the GCCP unless there is a bilateral agreement between Greece and the state of the award s origin providing otherwise. A foreign arbitral award is recognised without any further procedure if all the following requirements are met: the arbitration agreement is valid according to the provisions of the law that it falls under the subject of the arbitral award is arbitrable according to Greek law the award is not subject to any kind of appeal or revocation the losing party had the opportunity to defend itself during the arbitration proceedings the award is not contrary to a decision issued by a Greek court judging the same dispute and constituting res judicata for the parties to the foreign arbitral award the award is not contrary to the rules of public policy or moral considerations. Norton Rose Group Arbitration in Europe July 2010 Greece 13

14 Europe The enforcement of other foreign awards is conducted in accordance with articles 905 and 906 of the GCCP unless there is a bilateral agreement between Greece and the state of the award s origin providing otherwise. The criteria for identifying the competent court are the same as for the enforcement of New York Convention awards, described above. The Court will declare the foreign award as enforceable if it is deemed so by the country where it was issued and it is not contrary to the rules of public policy or moral considerations. According to article 35 of the Law, the arbitral awards are enforceable from the date they are issued, since they are not subject to appeal. However, as mentioned above, the parties can file a claim asking that the arbitrators decision be annulled for the reasons mentioned in article 34 of the Law within three months of the publication of the award. If a party files such a claim, he may also ask that the enforceability of the award be suspended until a decision is rendered on his claim. Then it will be up to the competent court to decide whether they will grant such a petition to sustain the award s enforceability. The costs of enforcement vary depending on the case. 12 What are the likely costs of the arbitration? The question of costs is dealt with in article 32 of the Law. The arbitral tribunal apportions the costs of the arbitration on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the issues raised and the outcome of the case. The arbitrators in international cases are generally more flexible in determining and apportioning the costs of the proceedings than those in national arbitrations. This is partly because the Law provides that the arbitrators fees are assigned according to the amount of work conducted by the arbitrators. The Law does not make any reference to interest. n 14 Greece July 2010 Arbitration in Europe Norton Rose Group

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