What is arbitration?

Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution, where the parties agree that the dispute will not be decided by a state court, but rather by a panel of arbitrators. In comparison to state court proceedings arbitration is faster, less expensive and offers a higher degree of confidentiality. Furthermore, parties are able to shape the proceedings to a great extent (e.g. language, seat of arbitration, applicable law and the arbitrators) to the need of the parties involved.

The VIAC is competent to administer disputes, when the parties have agreed the Rules of Arbitration ("Vienna Rules"), the Rules of Mediation ("Vienna Mediation Rules") or otherwise the jurisdiction of the VIAC. This agreement can be either part of the contract governing the subject matter of the dispute or can be agreed on also after the dispute has arisen.

The main advantage of the Vienna Rules is their flexibility which enables the parties and arbitrators to tailor the proceedings exactly to the needs of the parties and their dispute. Another advantage is the binding schedule of fees which means that administrative costs as well as arbitrators’ fees are fully predictable for the parties already at the outset of the proceedings by using the cost calculator.

In case of unclear or incomplete arbitral agreements the European Convention on International Commercial Arbitration of 1961 (EC 1961) - to which Austria is a member – may provide a way out (for further information please click here).

The final decision is an arbitral award, which is effective and enforceable in the same way as a judicial decision (court judgment). The award becomes binding upon service to the parties. Thanks to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958, an award is recognised and enforceable in most countries worldwide, which is of great advantage in international business. 

For an overview of the Vienna International Arbitral Centre please see an article by Alice Fremuth-Wolf  and Klaudia Dobosz in Arbitration World International Series (6th edition), Thomson Reuters (2018).

This chapter was first published by Thomson Reuters, trading as Sweet & Maxwell, 5 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AQ, in Karyl Nairn QC and Jonathon Egerton-Peters (eds), Arbitration World, 6th edn (2018) as “Vienna International Arbitral Centre (VIAC)”, pp. 329–356 and is reproduced by agreement with the publishers.

The Secretariat will assist the parties and arbitrators in the organization of the hearing. More details can be found here.

Please click the following flow-chart to see how arbitration proceedings will be conducted under the Vienna Rules 2021.

Flow Chart Schiedsverfahren nach den WR 2021 en