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Pemanent Arbitration Court

The Permanent Arbitration Court was established at the Chamber in 1853. After an intermission, it restarted its activity in 1965 as a modern institution that settles corporate disputes. In the beginning, it dealt only with domestic legal entities. After Croatia had gained independence, the Court also assumed jurisdiction over international disputes involving both foreign legal entities and natural persons. Over the last ten years, more than 300 new actions have been brought. Among them, 40% have been international disputes involving parties from 25 different countries. The total value of claims in this period exceeds EUR 500 million. This testifies to the economic importance and trust that the Court has earned in solving complex and important commercial disputes. Arbitration is a method of dispute settlement in a “private” tribunal that substitutes regular litigation in official courts.

The basis of each arbitration is a voluntary agreement between parties, which means that they have included in their contract an arbitration clause that stipulates final settlement of possible disputes by arbitrators, persons in whom they have trust, instead in a court of justice. Arbitration decisions are final, with no possibility to appeal. Their legal force is equal to that of a regular state court. The Permanent Arbitration Court is not a separate court. It is a specific auxiliary service that assists parties and arbitrators in carrying out proceedings. Its basic tasks are assistance in establishing an arbitration tribunal that consists of one or more arbitrators appointed by the disputing parties as well as in providing conditions for a quick and proper execution of arbitration proceedings. The composition and work of the Court are regulated by its basic documents. The procedure in a litigation that has no international elements is regulated by the Rules of the Permanent Arbitration Court, while the Zagreb Rules (Zagrebačka pravila) apply in disputes with international character.

The lists of the Permanent Arbitration Court from which parties may choose their arbitrators include about 150 Croatian and foreign legal experts. In addition to arbitration proceedings, the Court also organises commercial conciliation procedures. As of 1994, the Court has been publishing the Croatian Arbitration Yearbook, a periodical in English, which has become the leading international arbitration publication in Croatia and the region. Over the last eleven years, the Court has been organising an international arbitration conference in December – Croatian Arbitration Days. On the international level, the Court co-operates with a number of foreign and international organisations. Co-operation agreements have been concluded with eight eminent arbitration institutions. The Court regularly exchanges experience with institutions from neighbouring countries.