In 2008 Slovenia enacted the new Slovenian Arbitration Act (Zakon o arbitraži) which reflects theUNCITRAL Model Law, including the recommendations adopted by UNCITRAL in 2006 concerning thewritten form requirements of arbitration agreements and interim measures of protection.
The Arbitration Act (Act) regulates various types of arbitral proceedings when the seat of arbitration iswithin the territory of the Republic of Slovenia. Specifically, this means that the provisions of the Act areapplicable to commercial as well as to non-commercial disputes which can be resolved through arbitration.The Arbitration Act applies both to domestic disputes and disputes involving international elements. Theprovisions of the Act shall apply to all types of arbitral proceedings, regardless of whether the arbitration isconducted under the auspices of an arbitration institution or by an ad hoc tribunal.
In Slovenia, there is one notable permanent arbitral institution attached to the Slovenian Chamber ofCommerce of Slovenia (Gospodarska zbornica Slovenije) – the Ljubljana Arbitration Centre, as well asspecialized arbitration courts attached to certain institutions, notably the largest Slovenian insurer(Zavarovalnica Triglav d.d.), and the Ljubljana Stock Exchange.
The Ljubljana Arbitration Centre is an autonomous and independent institution acting as the central arbitralinstitution in the Republic of Slovenia and administers disputes for both the domestic and internationalbusiness communities through arbitration or other forms of ADR. New modern arbitration rules have enteredinto force on 1 January 2014, which brought the centre into line with other big regional and global institutions.
The Act requires that the arbitration agreement entered into by the parties be in writing. It can be aseparate agreement or form part of another agreement. An arbitration agreement is deemed to be inwriting if it is concluded between the parties by way of an exchange of letters, facsimiles or telexes or bysuch other means of telecommunication which produces a permanent record of the agreement. It is alsoconsidered to be in writing if it is sent from one party to the other or by a third person to both parties and ifno objection was raised in good time. An arbitration agreement is also valid if a bill of lading contains anexpress reference to an arbitration clause in a charter party. It will also be deemed to be in writing if one ofthe parties states in its statement of claim that an arbitration agreement was entered into between them,and the other party does not deny this in its statement of defence at the latest.
Further, the Act allows the parties to agree that all previous or future disputes arising out of the parties’contractual or non-contractual relationship shall be settled through arbitration. Generally all pecuniaryclaims are arbitrable, as well as any other disputes in respect of which parties are allowed to settle.Disputes regarding personal status, e.g., marital disputes and adoption or parental issues, are notarbitrable. In addition, claims that would normally be decided by regulatory or supervisory authorities suchas patent, trademark or antitrust disputes are not arbitrable.
The parties are free to agree on the substantive law, the procedural rules, the seat, language, number ofarbitrators and their method of appointment, and other aspects of arbitration.
Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, an arbitral tribunal may, upon request of the other party, ordersuch interim or protective measures against a party as the arbitral tribunal may consider necessary inrespect of the subject matter of the proceedings. The party that has requested such measures may alsoapply to the competent national court for the enforcement of such measures. It is not incompatible with anarbitration agreement for a party to apply to the state courts before or during arbitration proceedings for aninterim measure of protection or for a court to grant such claim.
Arbitral awards are considered final and binding upon the parties involved in the arbitration, and an arbitraldecision possesses the same effect and validity as a judicially imposed judgment. In general, a domesticarbitral award may be challenged (setting-aside proceedings) before the District Court in Ljubljana, on thefollowing grounds:
-the party concluding the arbitration agreement had no legal capacity or capacity to act;
-the arbitration agreement is not valid under the law to which the parties have subjected it, orfailing such indication, under Slovenian law;
-a party was not given proper notice of the appointment of the arbitrator(s), or of the arbitralproceedings or was otherwise unable to present its case;
-the award was made in a dispute not falling within the terms of the statement of claim orcontains decisions beyond the scope of the statement of claim;
-incorrect composition of the arbitral tribunal or the proceedings were not in accordance with theparties’ agreement;
-the subject matter of the dispute is not arbitrable under Slovenian law; or
-the award is in conflict with the rules of Slovenian public order.
2. ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGNARBITRAL AWARDS
The recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards are carried out in accordance with theSlovenian Private International Law and Procedure Act. Furthermore, most international arbitral awardsare decided in accordance with the applicable provisions of the 1958 New York Convention on theRecognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.
Arbitral awards that are enforced under the provisions of the Private International Law and the ProcedureAct must fulfil certain criteria. Generally, this requires that the party seeking enforcement submit to thecompetent court:
-the original arbitral award or certified copy thereof;
-the original arbitration agreement or certified copy thereof; and
-a certified translation of the arbitral award into Slovenian, or another official languagerecognized by the Slovenian Courts.
The request for the recognition and enforcement of the foreign arbitral award should be filed at the DistrictCourt. In the event that the court establishes that no obstacles exist for the recognition and enforcement ofthe foreign arbitral award, the court may issue an order for enforcement of the foreign award. Any appealsto an order recognizing a foreign arbitral award must be filed within a period of 15 (fifteen) days after theorder recognizing the award is issued.
Slovenia is a party to the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of ForeignArbitration, with the reservation that the Convention will only be applied to those arbitral awards whichwere adopted after the entry into effect of the Convention. Slovenia is also a party to the 1961 EuropeanConvention on International Commercial Arbitration, as well as to the 1965 Washington Convention on theSettlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States.
PROCEDURE AND ASSUMPTIONS
TYPE OF PROCEEDINGS
Very limited. Document production is only allowed according to the applicable arbitration rules.
The procedural costs depend on whether asole arbitrator or an arbitral tribunal of threemembers is appointed, the complexity of thecase, and the administrative charges.
The following estimates are based on theprocedural costs of the Rules of Arbitrationof the Permanent Court of ArbitrationAttached to the Chamber of Commerce andIndustry of Slovenia:
Assumption: international dispute, solearbitrator appointed and an amount indispute of EUR 1,000,000: Proceduralcosts: registration fee of EUR 1,000;administrative fees of EUR 9,500 and feesfor a sole arbitrator between EUR 20,400and EUR 30,600.
Assumption: international dispute, solearbitrator appointed and an amount indispute of EUR 10,000,000: Proceduralcosts: registration fee of EUR 1,000;administrative fees of EUR 18,000 and feesfor a sole arbitrator of between EUR 63,600and EUR 95,400.
Assumptions based on an amount indispute of EUR 1,000,000: preparation of
2 filings, attendance at 1 hearing, correspon-dence with client: around EUR 4,200.
Assumptions based on an amount indispute of EUR 10,000,000: preparation of4 filings, attendance at 3 hearings, corre-spondence with client, in total: EUR 8,000.
-The costs of arbitration depend on thearbitration agreement and the amountin dispute, the amount of documents,number of witnesses and whetherexpert opinions are required.
-The costs of arbitration also include thefees of arbitrators and administrativecharges.
-In the case there is an arbitral tribunalwith three arbitrators, the fees double.
-The arbitrators usually have largediscretion regarding the award of costs.However, in practice the award on costsoften depends on the outcome of thecase.
-The award of legal fees is usually notdetermined by reference to a statutorytariff.
ATTORNEYS’ FEES (NET)1
The Permanent Court of Arbitration Attachedto the Chamber of Commerce and Industry ofSlovenia is the only general and permanentarbitral institution in Slovenia with anoticeable caseload of commercial matters.
The usual duration of arbitration proceedingsis up to 2 or even 3 years. According toinformation received from the LjubljanaArbitration Centre, the proceedings becameshorter in the last few years and it is notuncommon for proceedings to be completedwithin 9-12 months.
The fee for recognition decisions is EUR 16 – EUR 35, regardless of the disputed amount.
The fee for enforcement proceedings is EUR 44 and above, depending on the manner offiling and number of additional means of enforcement.
Simple case: (assumption based on an award of EUR 1,000,000): Approx. EUR 780.
Complex case: (assumption based on an award of EUR 5,000,000): Approx. EUR 780.
Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards
For enforcement of awards under the NewYork Convention, the creditor must providethe court with the authenticated originalaward or a duly certified copy thereof and theoriginal of the arbitration agreement or a dulycertified copy thereof.
Depends mainly on the type and basis of theproceeding. Under EC Regulation 44/2001,proceedings are shorter than under usualproceedings under the Private InternationalLaw and Procedure Act or under theArbitration Act (New York Convention).
It takes approximately 1 to 3 months until adecision on recognition and enforcement isrendered in first instance.
The duration of execution proceedingsdepends mainly on whether the debtor hasexecutable assets and whether executionmeasures are opposed by the debtor.
ATTORNEYS’ FEES (NET)
1 As provided by default by the Attorney’s Tarrif. Attorneys and their clients are allowed to agree on certain other fee-structures,e.g. hourly rates.
The information in this chapter was correct as of 1 January 2018. If you have any questions about the content of this chapter,
or would like further information about arbitration in Slovenia, please contact