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Statutes of The Arbitration Court - Sofia of the “Legal Aid and Mediation Association” (ACS)


Statutes of The Arbitration Court - Sofia of the “Legal Aid and Mediation Association” (ACS)

Statutes of The Arbitration Court - Sofia of the “Legal Aid and Mediation Association” (ACS)

 

1. GENERAL PROVISIONS
2. CLAIM AND A REPLY TO THE CLAIM
3. PAPERS, NOTIFICATIONS AND  HANDING
4. DECISION MAKING AUTHORITY
5. HEARING OF A CASE
6. CLOSING OF PROCEEDINGS
7. ACCELERATED PROCEEDINGS
8. FEES, COSTS AND FILES
 

I.                   GENERAL PROVISIONS

Arbitration court

Art. 1

(1)

Arbitration Court Sofia is a judicatory institution independent from the Non-profit Association “Arbitration Court Veliko Tarnovo”. The organization of the Arbitration Court and the status of the arbitrators is determined by the Statutes of the Arbitration Court

 

(2)

Arbitration Court Sofia settles civil and commerce property disputes, as well as disputes aiming to fill gaps in a contract or arrange for its adjustment to newly arisen circumstances between parties, physical persons or legal entities with place of residence and head-office in the Republic of Bulgaria as well as abroad.

Grounds for the competence of the Arbitration Court

Art. 2

(1)

The arbitration court hears disputes as by art. 1, par. 2, if they have been entrusted upon it by an arbitration agreement or an international contract

 

(2)

The arbitration agreement must be in writing. The agreement is considered in writing also when it is included in an exchange of letters, telegrams or other written means of communication in general conditions with which a contract concluded between the parties is forwarded.

 

(3)

It is considered that there exists a written arbitration agreement also when the claimant files a claim with the Arbitration Court and the defendant accepts in writing or with a declaration, specified in the protocol of arbitration hearing, for the dispute to be heard by the Arbitration Court.

 

(4)

It is considered that there exists a written arbitration agreement also when the claimant files a claim with the Arbitration Court and the defendant does not contest the competence of the Arbitration Court within the stated time limit.

 

 

Applicable rules of procedure

Art.3

(1)

The consent of the parties to entrust the case to the Arbitration Court Sofia also implies acceptance of these Statutes

 

(2)

Regarding issues that are not regulated in these Statutes or by the Law for the international trade arbitration, the arbitrators act according to their reasonable judgement and guided by the nature of the arbitration and the subject matter of the dispute.

 

(3)

In cases based on arbitration agreement those rules from the Statutes are applicable which are in force at the launch of the arbitration proceedings, unless both sides request the application of the rules that were in force at the moment of conclusion of the arbitration agreement or have come to force after the arbitration proceedings have started.

II.                CLAIM AND REPLY TO THE CLAIM

Raising a claim

Art. 4

(1)

The arbitration proceedings start with the filing of statement of claim with the Arbitration Court Sofia

 

(2)

The statement of claim is considered submitted on the day it arrives at the Secretariat of the Arbitration Court; if sent by post – on the date the postage stamp shows it to have been sent.

 

(3)

The statement of claim can be submitted also electronically as the same is considered submitted on the day of its receiving on officially declared email address of Arbitration Court.

 

(4)

By submitting the statement of claim electronically, it means that claimant accepts all papers, summonses and notifications to be served electronically on the email address from which the statement of claim has been sent.

 

(5)

After sending the statement of claim electronically, claimant receives by email unique code for electronic access to arbitration case.

Content of the statement of claim

Art. 5

(1)

The statement of claim must include:

 

 

  1. The parties full names
  2. Parties’ address, telephone, telefax, electronic mail address;
  3. The rate (price) of the claim;
  4. Presentation of the circumstances upon which the claim is based;
  5. What exactly the claim implies;
  6. The name of the arbitrator and his/her deputy or a request for them to be appointed by the Chief of the Arbitration Court;
  7. A list of the documents attached to the statement of claim;
  8. The claimant’s signature.

 

(2)

In the statement of claim the claimant is obliged to indicate all proofs as well as his/her request for them to be collected, and to present written proofs of the circumstances upon which the claim is based.

 

 

(3)

The following must be attached to the statement of claim:

 

 

  1. The arbitration agreement, when the competence of the Arbitration court is not based on a contract;
  2. Certificates for the real status-quo of the claimant and defendant – legal entities;
  3. A bank statement or equivalent for a paid fee and a deposit for costs;
  4. Copies of the statement of claim and written proofs according to the number of defendants.

 

(4)

At submitting the statement of claim electronically, claimant does not enclose copies of the statement of claim and written evidence according to the number of defendants.

Price of the claim. Determining the rate of the arbitration fee

Art.6

(1)

The price is determined depending on the claim as follows:

 

 

  1. Claims for money due – depending on the sum claimed;
  2. Claims for transfer of things real – on the tax assessment, and when such is absent – depending on the market price; in claims for transfer of movables – depending on their value;
  3. Claims for the establishment of the existence or transformation of legal relationships – depending on the value of the contract on the day of raising the claim; in claims for rent with unfixed date of expiration – on the annual rental price;
  4. Claims for regular payments in a fixed length of time – on the sum total of all payments; in a non-fixed length of time – on the sum total due for three years.

 

(2)

The price of the claim must be indicated by the claimant in the statement of claim. When the statement of claim refers to several claims, each price must be quoted separately.

 

(3)

Upon raising a compensation objection the defendant must quote the price of his/her takings according to the rules of par. 1 and 2.

 

(4)

If the claimant has not fixed or has erroneously fixed the price of the claim, as well as when it cannot be determined precisely, the Chief of the Arbitration Court Sofia, on his/her own initiative or at the request of the defendant, determines the price of the claim based on the information available.

 

(5)

If at the hearing of the case it is found that the price of the claim has not been determined according to the rules in the preceding paragraphs, the Decision making authority determines the final price of the claim.

 

(6)

The above rules also apply to the fixing of the price of the compensation objection.

 

(7)

The claimant pays an arbitration fee, determined on the basis of the sum total of the price of all raised claims; the defendant pays arbitration fee, determined on the basis of the price of the raised counter claims and compensation objections.

Preliminary verification of the Arbitration Court’s competence

Art.7

(1)

If the claimant in the statement of claim does not make a reference to an arbitration agreement, he/she has the right to declare in writing that he wishes for a copy of the statement of claim to be handed to the defendant.

 

(2)

In the hypothesis of par. 1 and if the defendant does not question the competence of the Arbitration Court as by art. 2, par. 4, the claimant is notified about a payment of the due arbitration fee and the stipulated deposit for costs.

Removing the shortcomings of the statement of claim

Art.8

(1)

If the statement of claim does not match the requirements stipulated in art. 5, par.1 or the attachments foreseen by art. 5, par. 3, p.p. 3 and 4 are not presented, the Secretariat of the court sends the statement of claim back to the claimant for correction that has to be completed within 7 days for domestic disputes and 14 days for international disputes, counted from the day of reception of the notification. Until the shortcomings have been removed there is no movement on the case.

 

(2)

If the claimant does not remove the shortcomings in the stated time limit, the statement of claim is sent back to the claimant at the orders of the Chief of the Arbitration Court.

Reply to the statement of claim

Art.9

(1)

Upon reception of the statement of claim and payment of the arbitration fee and the deposit for costs, the Secretariat of the court notifies the defendant by sending to him/her copy attachments thereof, as well as the list of arbitrators.

 

(2)

At the same time the Secretariat notifies the claimant that within 14 days from reception of the copy of the statement of claim he/she can submit a reply in writing which needs to include an opinion regarding the Arbitration Court’s competence, the admissibility and justifiability of the claim, an opinion regarding the circumstances, upon which the claim is based, objections against the claim and the circumstances upon which they are based, as well as to indicate the proofs and the specific circumstances which he is going to use and presents all written proofs at his disposal. In cases between parties having residence or head-office abroad the time limit is 30 days.

 

(3)

Within the same time limit the defendant must announce the names of the arbitrator and his/her deputy of his choice or to entrust their appointment to the Chief of the Arbitration Court.

 

(4)

The defendant can raise a counter claim or a compensation objection, if the argument regarding its collection is within the competence of the Arbitration Court. The counter claim and the objection must be raised in the time limit set in art. 9, par. 2 at the latest and regarding the counter claim the provisions of art. 5 are applied.

 

(5)

By submitting the reply of the statement of claim, as well as counterclaim or objections for tracking of officially declared email address of Arbitration Court, claimant accepts all papers, summonses and notifications to be served electronically on the email address from which the statement of claim has been sent.

 

(6)

After sending the reply of statement of claim electronically, claimant receives by email unique code for electronic access to arbitration case.

 

(7)

The non-submission of a reply does not imply acceptance of the claim.

 

(8)

Providing that defendant pays in favour of claimant the amount claimed in the statement of claim, together with costs on case as he/she presents bank statement of account for payment performed, the proceedings on case are terminated.

III.             PAPERS, NOTIFICATIONS AND HANDING

Presentation of the documents concerning the case

Art. 10

(1)

All documents must be presented in as many copies as necessary for all parties and the Arbitration Court to have a copy each. This condition does not apply for document submitted electronically or at their submission by magnetic storage device.

 

(2)

Physical persons and legal entities having an address and head-office abroad present the documents indicated in par. 1 in the language of the contract, or in the language of their correspondence as well as copies thereof translated by a licensed translator.

 

(3)

Physical persons and legal entities having an address and head-office in the country present their documents in Bulgarian, accompanied by the translation thereof into the language of their correspondence with the other party if its head-office or residence is abroad.

 

(4)

All documents can be presented by magnetic storage device as the same are considered received on the date of their handing over at record keeping office of Arbitration Court.

Forwarding and handing of documents

Art. 11

(1)

The Secretariat of the court forwards to the parties all papers, notifications and subpoenas of their concern to the addresses supplied by them or the addresses of their duly authorized representatives.

 

(2)

The statement of claim, the reply to the claim, the arbitration decisions and general orders are handed to the party in person or to its representative after an Arbitration court officer’s signature.

 

(3)

When the notification cannot be handed in person to the party, it is given to another person who has given his/her consent to accept it.

 

(4)

Another person can be any person of legal age living on the same address, or is a hired worker, an officer or an employer of the addressee. The person through whom the handing is done puts his/her signature on a receipt with an obligation to forward the subpoena to the addressee. The subpoena cannot be handed to participants in the case who are a counter party to the receiver.

 

(5)

It is considered that the delivery to the addressee has taken place upon reception of the notification by another person.

 

(6)

The deliverer certifies with his/her signature the date and the manner of the handing, as well as all actions related to the handing. The receiver also certifies with his/her signature the reception of the notification. The refusal to accept the notification is noted in the receipt and is certified with the deliverer’s signature. The refusal of the receiver does not affect the regularity of the handing.

 

(7)

The receiver can also be informed about all above said documents by telephone; this is certified in writing by the deliverer.

 

(8)

All above mentioned documents can be handed by Municipality or Town-hall of the respective place or be sent by email, or by courier service as registered item with acknowledgment of receipt. Summons and other notifications can also be sent by a telegram, by telex, or by telefax and are considered delivered if there is evidence about their reception.

 

(9)

In any position of the case, parties can declare consent for all papers, summons and notifications to be served electronically on the email address specified by them.

 

(10)

Papers sent by parties electronically are considered received on the date of their receiving on Arbitration Court’s email address officially stated.

 

(11)

Secretariat sends to parties all papers, notifications and summons concerning them on their email address as the same are considered received by them on the third day from the date when they have been sent.

 

(12)

Expert witnesses can send on Arbitration Court’s email address officially stated, any statements, conclusions and other papers.

Reception of the documents, subpoenas and notifications

Art. 12

(1)

When the receiver cannot be found at the address entered in the case files or no other person has been found who agrees to receive the notification and after a thorough search the head-office, residence, the usual residence or postal address of the receiver cannot be established, the deliverer attaches a notification on the door or the post box at the receiver’s last known head-office, residence, usual residence; when these are not accessible – on the front door or a visible place nearby. When the post box is accessible, the deliverer leaves the notification in it.

 

(2)

In the notification it is indicated that the papers have been left in the office of the Arbitration court, as well as that they can be obtained from there within a week from the day the notification has been glued to the receiver’s postbox.

 

(3)

In the cases described in par. 1 and 2, the notification is considered handed in after the expiry of the time limit for its reception from the Arbitration Court office.

 

(4)

When the head-office, residence, usual residence or the postal address of the receiver cannot be established after a thorough search, the papers, notifications or subpoenas are also considered received if they have been sent to his/her last known head-office, residence, usual residence or postal address with registered mail or by any other means that certifies the intention for it to be delivered. The document is considered handed in also when the receiver has refused or has not appeared in the post office in order to receive it, if the latter can proof this fact.

 

(5)

The time limits for the procedural acts of the parties are counted from the day when the addressee has received the notification or has refused to receive it as in art. 11, par. 6 or art. 12, par.4. If the last day of the time limit falls on a non-working day, the deadline expires on the first working day.

 

(6)

The party who is absent for more than a month from the address that it has submitted for the case files, or to whom a notification has already been handed once, is obliged to inform the court about its new address. The lawful representative, trustee and proxy of the party, are under the same obligation.

 

(7)

In the case of non-fulfillment of the obligation as in par. 6 all notifications are attached to the case file and are considered handed in. The party concerned must be warned of such consequences upon handing in the first notification.

 IV.             DECISION MAKING AUTHORITY

Members of the decision making authority

Art.13

The Arbitration court hears and decides upon disputes entrusted to it through the Decision making authority that can consist of one arbitrator or of three arbitrators.

Arbitrators’ panel

Art.14

(1)

The Chief of the Arbitration court proposes to the parties to agree for the case to be heard and decided by one arbitrator from the list or arbitrators who would be chosen by both parties by mutual consent; alternatively they can entrust it to the Chief to appoint an arbitrator. The same procedure is valid for the appointment of the deputy arbitrator.

 

(2)

If the parties do not reach consensus as by art. 14, par.1, the Decision making authority is composed by three arbitrators while the parties chooses one arbitrator each and his/her deputy from the list of arbitrators; the Chief of the Arbitration court appoints the chief of the Decision making authority, as well as his/her deputy.

 

(3)

If the claimant in his/her statement of claim or the defendant in his/her reply within the time limits set in art.9, par.2, do not name an arbitrator, the Chief of the Arbitration court appoints an arbitrator from the list of arbitrators who will examine the dispute.

 

(4)

If there are several claimants or defendants, they have to name one arbitrator and his/her deputy by common consent. If no consensus is reached among the claimants and defenders, the arbitrator and deputy are appointed by the Chief of the Arbitration court.

 

(5)

The decision of the Chief of the Arbitration court as by par.3 and 4 is final.

Substitution of an arbitrator

Art.15

(1)

If the arbitrator does not accept the appointment, dies, is in some way unable or does not fulfill his duties for longer than 60 days, he/she is replaced by the arbitrator named as his/her deputy. The same applies if the arbitrator is suddenly prevented from participation in the scheduled meeting or in this regard one of the complications listed in art.7 of the Statutes of the Arbitration court arise. The deputy continues the case until its final conclusion.

 

(2)

Under the conditions of the previous paragraph the chief of the Decision making authority is replaced following the same procedure as that under which he/she has been appointed. The replacement of an arbitrator, after a chief of the Decision making authority has already been selected, does not imply the deputy’s replacement.

 

(3)

If the conditions described in par.1 are valid regarding the deputy, the party who named him/her, is asked to name another arbitrator and his/her deputy.

Disqualification of an arbitrator

Art.16

(1)

When a person is proposed for the position of arbitrator, he/she must cite all circumstances that could lead to justified doubts regarding his impartiality or independence by presenting a personally undersigned declaration to the Secretariat of the court. The arbitrator has this duty after his/her appointment too.

 

(2)

Each of the parties is entitled to ask for a disqualification of the arbitrator or the chief of the Decision making authority if in doubt of their impartiality and especially if evidence is available that they personally, directly or indirectly have a vested interest in the outcome of the case.

Procedure for the disqualification

Art.17

(1)

Disqualification of an arbitrator can take place no later than 7 days after the party has been notified about the formation of the Decision making authority or after it has learned about the circumstances that justify the disqualification.

 

(2)

The request for a disqualification must be in writing and be referred to the Arbitration court giving the reasons for it.

 

(3)

If the arbitrator is not disqualified, the Decision making authority rules on the disqualification.

 

(4)

If the disqualification is accepted, the new arbitrator or chief of the Decision making authority is named or selected in line with the provisions of the present Statutes.

Disqualification of an expert witness and an interpreter/translator

Art.18

On the grounds indicated in par. 2 of art. 16 an expert witness or interpreter/translator can be disqualified. The final word on the disqualifications has the Decision making authority.

V.                HEARING OF A CASE

Preparation for the hearing of the case

Art.19

(1)

The Decision making authority checks if the case is prepared for hearing and takes the necessary measures for the clarification of the circumstances related to the case and its supplementation with proofs so that it can be fast, economical and correctly ruled upon. For this purpose the case can be filed in a preliminary meeting without summoning the parties while they are notified by the Decision making authority about the measures taken and the deadlines for their implementation.

 

(2)

The arbitrator or chief of the Decision making authority can give the secretary of the court different instructions concerning the preparation of the case. He/she fixes the date of the case and entrusts the secretary with the task to summon the parties, witnesses, expert witnesses and interpreters/translators.

Place for the meetings of the court

Art.20

The meetings of the court take place in Sofia about which the parties are given notification in the summons about the scheduling of the meeting.

Summoning to a session

Art.21

(1)

Summons are sent to the parties in which the time and place of the session is given. The summons and notifications must be sent in such a manner that each party would have no less than 7 days at their disposal in order to prepare itself and participate in the hearing of the case. For cases where head-office and residence are abroad, this time limit is no less than 14 days.

 

(2)

By common consent this time limit can be shortened.

Language of hearing the cases

Art.22

The hearing of the case is done in Bulgarian. When one of the parties has no command of Bulgarian, the Decision making authority appoints an interpreter/translator. Interpreter/translator’s remuneration is at the expense of this party irrespective of outcome of the case.

Hearing of a case

Art.23

(1)

The case is heard at a session in which the parties can participate in person or via duly authorized representatives.

 

(2)

The case is heard at a closed session. With the consent of the Decision making authority and the parties, non-participants in the case can be present at the session.

 

(3)

With the parties’ consent, the case can be heard and ruled upon without them being summoned to a session only on the basis of written proofs and written opinions produced by them. However, the Decision making authority can summon the parties to a session if he/she finds that the case needs additional clarification.

 

(4)

The case is heard without the parties being summoned if the defendant in his reply accepts the claim.

 

(5)

The proceedings for the cases before the Arbitration court Sofia is confidential. The case files are presented only to the party, its lawful representative or its procedural representative in the case.

 

(6)

Effective from 30.01.2017/ Each party receives opportunity to check the case remotely as well, including via Arbitration Court’s web page.

Art.23A.

(1)

Upon request of parties, hearing of Arbitration Court can be held also remotely via video conferencing or other communication technology.

 

(2)

At received request for holding remote hearing, Decision-making authority notifies the opposite party and gives him/her 7-day period for written opinion. If he/she agrees with request, Decision-making authority sets day and time for holding remote hearing.

 

(3)

Remote hearings shall be held via video conferencing connection based on internet technology.

 

(4)

Secretariat of Arbitration Court provides Decision-making authority with technical conditions for performing video conferencing connection.

 

(5)

Remote hearing shall be opened after the chairperson of Decision-making authority makes sure that video and audio connection are present between all participants of video conferencing.

 

(6)

Complete conferencing hearing is performed when both parties are not present at the headquarters of arbitration. At complete remote hearing, parties are obliged to provide for them by themselves technical opportunity for participation in video conferencing connection. Incomplete remote hearing is performed in the cases when one of the parties is present in the headquarters of arbitration, and the other is out of its headquarters. At incomplete remote hearing, Secretariat of Arbitration Court provides the present party technical opportunity to participate in video conferencing connection, and the other non-present party is obliged, by his/her own, to provide technical opportunity for participation in video conferencing connection.

 

(7)

At performance of remote hearings, parties can perform all procedure actions without presenting written evidence.

 

(8)

When parties have headquarters and place of residence in different countries, remote hearing is performed in the language chosen by parties.

 

(9)

For remote hearing performed, protocol shall be prepared by the Secretary of Arbitration Court in compliance with Art. 34 of Rules of Arbitration Court.

 Non-appearance of a party

Art.24

(1)

The non-appearance of a party duly notified about the time and place of an arbitration meeting does not give grounds for the postponement of the case. This can only be done if the non-appearing party has asked for it to be postponed for excusable reasons.

 

(2)

Each party can request for the case to be heard in its absence.

Objection for incompetence

Art.25

(1)

The Decision making authority gives an opinion regarding the competence of the Arbitration court also when it is challenged because of non-existence or invalidity of the arbitration agreement.

 

(2)

The arbitration agreement, included in a contract, is independent of its other stipulations. The nullity in itself does not imply invalidity of the arbitration agreement included in it.

 

(3)

The objection that the Arbitration court is incompetent must be done with the reply to the statement of claim at the latest. It can be raised by the party who has appointed or participated in the appointment of the arbitrator.

 

(4)

Concerning the objection for incompetence the Decision making authority delivers a general order before it proceeds with hearing the case upon its merits, except if the settlement of the argument regarding the competence depends on the settlement of the essential dispute of the case.

 

(5)

If the Decision making authority rejects the objection for incompetence the arbitration proceedings take place despite the fact that the defendant refuses or abstains from participation in it.

Agreement

Art.26

(1)

After the opening of the session the Decision making authority proposes to the parties to close the case with an agreement.

 

(2)

The Decision making authority can propose an agreement at any given stage in the progress of the case until a decision is pronounced.

 

(3)

If the parties reach an agreement before the Decision making authority, it is entered in the records of the session and is signed by the parties and the arbitrator/s.

 

(4)

The parties can request for the agreement to be reproduced in an arbitration decision under stipulated conditions.

 

Security of the claim

Art.27

If the parties have not agreed otherwise, the claimant can request from the Arbitration court to impose on the defendant adequate measures for the assurance of his rights, quoted in the claim. The supplicant is obliged to quote the specific measure or measures that must not affect third persons. Upon admittance of the requested measures the Arbitration court can decide on a guarantee that the supplicant must present.

Proofs

Art.28

(1)

Each party must prove the circumstances upon which their claim or objection are based.

 

(2)

In view of the circumstances of the case the Decision making authority can consider as proven the facts for which the party has created obstacles in the collection of the accepted proofs.

 

(3)

The party can present originals of the written proofs or certified copies thereof. The Decision making authority is entitled to request the translation of these proofs into another language when this is in the interest of the case hearing. The written proofs presented by the one party are handed in to the other in due time. The parties can use information from electronic mail exchanges as source of proof. 

 

(4)

The arbitrators assess the proofs guided by their conviction.

Collection of proofs

Art.29

(1)

The Decision making authority can request from the parties to present other proofs as well, to appoint expert witnesses or to demand from organizations of physical persons certificates or other documents at their disposal when this is necessary for the establishment of the truth concerning the case. For the officially collected proofs the parties are informed in due time and an appropriate length of time is allowed for the formation of opinions and presentation of counter proofs.

 

(2)

The Decision making authority can instruct the parties to give to the expert witnesses the necessary data or to give them access for the examination of documents, merchandise and other items, when this is necessary for the issuing of the conclusion. At each of the parties’ demand or on its own initiative and after presenting its conclusion, it can oblige the expert witness to participate in a meeting in order to give explanations. At the parties’ request the Decision making authority can appoint additional expert witnesses for conclusions on the disputed matter. The interested party must present according to the due procedure all proofs upon which the expert witnesses’ conclusions have been formed unless both parties agree the contrary.

 

(3)

Witnesses are questioned if they are brought by the party that has named them and has clarified what sort of circumstances they have to establish.

 

(4)

The Decision making authority can fix a deadline for the indication and presentation of proofs. The deadline can be extended or restored on excusable grounds that the party must prove.

Cooperation of a state court

Art.30

The Decision making authority or the interested party, with its consent, can request from the competent court in the country or abroad, to collect some proofs necessary for the case.

Amendment of the claim

Art.31

(1)

During the arbitration proceedings each of the parties can amend or supplement their claim or objection, unless otherwise agreed. The Arbitration court may not allow the requested amendment if it finds that the amendment would create substantial difficulties for the other party. These rules are also applied for the amendment of the counter claim.

 

(2)

If a party dies or the legal entity ceases to exist, the proceedings of the case continue with the corresponding legal heir if there is one.

 

(3)

The amendment of the claim by means of replacement of one of the parties with a different person is only admissible by mutual consent and the consent of the person entering the case as a party.

Participation of third persons

Art.32

Intervention and summoning of a third person is only admissible by common consent and in the case of equitable garnishment, with the consent of the person being garnished. The same applies to the raising of a counter claim to the garnished person. The request for intervention and garnishment, as well as the raising of a counter claim against the garnished person must be filed before the deadline for the reply to the statement of claim. The consent must be given in writing. 

Postponement of the case and suspension of proceedings

Art.33

(1)

The proceedings of the case is suspended;

a/ at common request by the parties;

b/ when a case is being heard in a court or another arbitration court and the decision thereof plays a role in the correct settlement of the dispute;

c/ following an explicit provision in the law.

 

(2)

A suspended case is reopened at the parties’ request or officially when the reasons for the suspension become invalid. In the cases of letter “a” it is suspended if within six months from its suspension no one of the parties has requested its reopening.

Records

Art.34

(1)

Notes for the records are taken from the arbitration session by a secretary appointed by the Chief of the Arbitration court. The notes are signed by the arbitrator or the president of the panel, as well as by the secretary.

 

(2)

If mistakes in the notes have been made or they are incomplete, the notes can be amended or completed at the request of the party within three days from the meeting or with an order from the Decision making authority.

 

(3)

At the parties’ request, they are given copies from the recorded notes certified by the secretariat of the Arbitration court.

Applicable law

Art.35

(1)

The Decision making authority applies the law chosen by the parties. If they have not agreed otherwise, the choice of law refers to the substance law and not to the collision norms.

 

(2)

When the choice of law is inadmissible or the parties have not chosen the applicable law, the Decision making authority applies the law indicated by the collision norms that it considers applicable. If the parties have a head-office or residence in the same country, the collision norms of this country indicate the applicable law. When the relation of dispute is settled by an international convention, the latter is applied.

 

(3)

In all cases the Decision making authority applies the conditions of the contract and takes into consideration the habits of trade.

VI.             CLOSING OF THE PROCEEDINGS

Decision

Art.36

(1)

The arbitration proceedings are brought to a closure with the delivery of a decision when there are no obstacles for the case to be decided upon its merits.

 

(2)

A decision is delivered not only in the case of acceptance of the claim but in the case of renouncement as well. When the circumstances related to the case so require, a preliminary or partial decision can be delivered.

 

(3)

The decision which by force of art.26, par.4 reflects the agreement reached by the parties, has the force of a usual decision.

Delivery of the decision

Art.37

(1)

After the Decision making authority has found that all circumstances related to the dispute are sufficiently clarified, it declares the adversary proceedings completed and proceeds to the delivery of the decision.

 

(2)

The decision is deliberated upon at a closed session, with the majority of the members of the Decision making authority. The Chief votes last. If no majority can be formed, the decision is delivered by the Chief.

 

(3)

The decision must be motivated, unless it reproduces an agreement between the parties.

 

(4)

The decision is prepared by the reporting judge and is signed by the Chief and the members of the Decision making authority. If one of the arbitrators is unable or refuses to sign the arbitration decision, the Chief of the Decision making authority certified this with his signature on the decision, pointing out the reasons.

 

(5)

The arbitrator who is holding a dissenting opinion, is under the obligation to sign the decision immediately and denote his stand with the abbreviation “d.o.”.  Within seven days from signing the arbitrator must present in writing his dissenting opinion which is attached to the decision. Upon expiry of this time it is considered that the arbitrator has renounced his dissenting opinion and in this case the expiry of the time limit is certified by the chief of the Decision making authority.

 

(6)

When the case is heard by one arbitrator the decision is prepared and signed by him.

 

(7)

If, prior to the expiry of the time allowed to the Decision making authority by the parties for presentation of written opinions regarding the case, it is established that the right of one of the parties to be heard has been infringed, that for reasons independent of its will it has been unable to appear in court, and also to notify the Arbitration court about this inability, that the case needs additional proofs or clarification of circumstances important for its just settlement, the Decision making authority reopens the case.

Content of the decision

Art.38

The decision must include:

 

 1. The Arbitration court’s official designation;

 2. The date and place of the delivery of the decision;

 3. The names of the arbitrators;

 4. The name of the parties and other persons participating in the case;

 5. The subject matter of the dispute and a summary of the circumstances related to the case;
 6. Dispositive facts to the decision;

 7. Motivation of the decision;

 8. The arbitrators’ signatures.

Entering of the decision

Art.39

(1)

After signing the decision as by art.37 it is entered into the Secretariat by the chief of the Decision making authority, or the sole arbitrator and is inscribed into the register book of decisions of the Arbitration court in his/her presence. After this moment the decision is considered delivered and becomes irrevocable. The record book of decisions is made available to the parties and their representatives.

 

(2)

The decision is registered within 30 days from the last session, in the cases by art.37, par.5 – upon presentment of a dissenting opinion, or certification of the absence of such by the chief of the Decision making authority after the expiry of the 7 day deadline as by the same paragraph.

 

(3)

The chief of the Arbitration court can, if necessary, extend the deadline foreseen in the previous paragraph.

 

(4)

The arbitration decision is final and brings the dispute to an end.

Copy of the decision

Art.40

(1)

A copy of the decision is handed to the parties, as the same shall be notified that they can perform it voluntarily within 7-day period, considered from the date of receiving.

 

(2)

At the request of the party residing or having a head-office abroad, a copy is sent to it as well and the postage cost is covered by the party.

 

(3)

The copies and translations are certified by the Chief of the court with his/her signature and the stamp of the Arbitration court.

 

(4)

If the preparation of the translation is delayed the secretary of the court notifies the foreign party of the case with an extract from the decision.

 

(5)

The copies of the decision are handed to the parties after all arbitration costs have been covered.

Amendments and interpretation of the decision

Art.41

(1)

At the request of each of the parties or on its own initiative, the Decision making authority can amend the decision regarding the calculation, writing out or another obvious factual error that it has made. The request must be filed within 7 days from the notification that the decision has been delivered.

 

(2)

Each of the parties can request from the Decision making authority an interpretation of the decision. An interpretation cannot be requested after the decision has been implemented.

 

(3)

Regarding the amendment and the interpretation of the decision the Decision making authority hears the parties or gives them the opportunity to present within a fixed by it time limit their written opinions. It delivers an opinion concerning the amendment and the interpretation within 30 days from the request. The decision on these issues is taken in observance of art.37 and 39 of these Statutes.

 

(4)

The amendment of the decision in its part regarding the arbitration costs is done with a general order in observance of the requirements of par. 1 and 3.

 

(5)

The amendment and the interpretation become part and parcel of the decision.

Additional decision

Art.42

The party may request for the decision to be supplemented if the Decision making authority has not addressed the claim in its totality. A written request for this, with a copy for the counter party, can be submitted within 14 days from the reception of a notification that the decision has been prepared. When the request is well founded the Decision making authority delivers an additional decision in observance of the disposition of art.41, par.3.

Implementation of the decision

Art.43

(1)     The arbitration decision is final and binding for the parties

 

(2)     Providing that within seven-day period of receiving decision, liable party performs it voluntarily and presents evidence for that, in this case Arbitration Court issues to the other party certified copy of Decision and Certificate   of Effectiveness with marking that the same is performed voluntarily.

Closing of the proceedings with a general order

Art.44

(1)

If no decision can be delivered on the case, the arbitration proceedings are closed with a general order in observance of the rules in art.37, par. 5 and art.39.

 

(2)

A general order for the closure of the proceedings is issued:

 1. If the claimant withdraws its claim unless the defendant objects and the arbitration court finds that the defendant has lawful interest in the delivery of a decision;
 2. In the case of an agreement between the parties, as by art.26, par.3 of these Statutes, and also in the cases described in art.33, par.2;
 3. In the case of absent conditions necessary for the examination and settlement of the case upon its merits, and also, when, because of inaction of the claimant, the request left without action is not corrected within the time limit fixed by the Chief of the Arbitration court.

 

(3)

If the Decision making authority is not yet formed according to the relevant procedure, the general order for the discontinuation of the arbitration proceedings is issued by the Chief of the Arbitration court.

Preserving of the case files and decisions

Art.45

/Effective from 30.01.2017/ Arbitration Court preserves, in records kept, the closed cases for 10 years from finishing the proceedings. After the expiry of this time limit the decisions and motivations pertaining to them, as well as the concluded agreements are kept.

 VII.          ACCELERATED PROCEEDINGS

Art.46

If a claim is priced up to 25000 /twenty-five thousand/ leva/BGN, accelerated proceedings are applied for the hearing of an arbitration case as by the present chapter.

 Constituting of the decision making authority, substitution and disqualification of an arbitrator in cases of accelerated proceedings

Art.47

The Decision making authority consists of one arbitrator and one deputy arbitrator.

Art.48

The arbitrator and deputy arbitrator are selected by the chief of the Arbitration court within seven days from the entering of the regular statement of claim.

Art.49

(1)

The replacement of an arbitrator is done in observance of art.16 from the Statutes of the Arbitration court Sofia and the time during which the arbitrator has been unable to fulfill his duties is longer than 15 days.

 

(2)

In the case of replacement of an arbitrator, the Chief of Arbitration court Sofia appoints a new deputy arbitrator.

Art.50

(1)

Disqualification of an arbitrator on the grounds, foreseen in art.17, par.2 from the Statutes of Arbitration court Sofia, can be done by the party within seven days from the day it has been informed about the selection or appointment of an arbitrator and deputy arbitrator, or having learned about the circumstances that give justification to the disqualification.

 

(2)

When not done during a session, the written request for a disqualification is sent without delay to the arbitrator (resp. deputy arbitrator) and to the counter party, who are under the obligation to give their opinion on the matter within three days.

 

(3)

If during the time fixed by the previous paragraph the arbitrator (deputy arbitrator) is not dismissed, the party requesting his/her disqualification, has the rights described in art.16 from the ICAA.

A claim and a reply thereto

Art.51

(1)

The statement of claim must observe the requirements of art.5 of the Statutes ACS, except art.5, par.1, p.6. The claimant must exhaust all circumstances upon which the claim is based, as well as indicate all proofs and present the written proofs at his disposal.

 

(2)

In the powers of attorney attached to the statement of claim, address, telephone number, as well as electronic mail address of the proxy must be supplied.

 

(3)

A proof for a paid fee for accelerated arbitration proceedings is attached to the statement of claim as well as a minimal deposit for costs, except in the cases described in art.7, par.1.

Art.52

(1)

It is admissible for several claims to be raised against the defendant only if they rest upon the same grounds, and also if they represent damages or interest on the corresponding principal amount. Independent of this, the raising of claims is admissible for discontinuation, declaration of discontinuation, destroying and declaring the nullity of the contract, from which the claimed rights or legal relationships follow.

 

(2)

Joining of claims against more than one defendant is not admissible, except in the cases of joint liability.

Art.53

Amendment of solely the grounds or solely the rate of the claim is admissible in observance of the limitations set in art.31. Augmenting the claim is only admissible if it is not necessary to collect new proofs which would delay the court hearing.

Art.54

(1)     Within a seven-day period of the receipt of a copy from the statement of claim and the attachments thereto, the defendant can pay the amount claimed in the statement of claim, submit reply of the statement of claim as it shall contain opinion on the  Arbitration court’s competence, the admissibility and justifiability of the claim, an opinion on the circumstances upon which the claim is based, objections against the claim and the circumstances upon which they are based, as well as to indicate the proofs and the specific circumstances used for proving and present all written proofs at its disposal. The deadline relevant to this article can be extended by the arbitrator of the case because of special unforeseeable circumstances.

(2)     Providing that defendant pays in favour of claimant the amount claimed in the statement of claim together with the costs on the case, as he/she presents bank statement of account for payment made, case proceedings are terminated.

Art.55

(1)

Within the deadline for a reply and in observance of the limitations set in art.31 the defendant can raise a counter claim or a compensation objection only if within the same deadline all relevant to them written proofs are presented and if the due arbitration fees and a deposit for their examination are paid. Otherwise the raised claim and compensation objection are not examined.

 

(2)

The compensation objection can also be raised later, if for its proving no collection of new proofs is necessary and at the moment of raising of the claim the due arbitration tax and deposit for costs have been paid.

 

 

 

Art.56

(1)

After the filing the statement of claim, resp. submitting the reply thereto, the parties can state facts and present proofs only in order to refute the timely made statements of the counter party. Outside these cases the parties can state new facts, indicate and present new proofs, only if they have not been able to do so within the deadlines for reasons beyond their control. 

 

(2)

The rules of the previous paragraph apply respectively to the counter claim and compensation objection.

Art.57

Each party can, by filing a claim or a counter claim, request for an investigation to be carried out for which it notifies the other party and the latter has 3 days time to ask additional questions regarding the investigation.

 

Hearing of the case

Art.58

(1)

After the expiry of the deadline for a reply to the claim, resp. the deadline for a reply to a counter claim, taking into account the statements of the parties, their requests and the proofs presented, the Decision making authority in a preparation meeting and with a general order determines the procedure, manner and time limits for the hearing of the case.

 

(2)

The Decision making authority proceeds to a decision at a closed session only on the basis of the proofs presented and if it so deems necessary it can allow to the parties time for written opinion and replications.

 

(3)

If it decides for the case to be heard at an open session, the Decision making authority schedules it for no later than 15 days after issuing of the general order. The parties are summoned at least 5 days prior to the scheduled meeting.

 

(4)

With its general order, the Decision making authority can admit witnesses for questioning and also appoint an expert witness. The non-appearance of a witness designated for questioning on the scheduled date does not constitute an obstacle to the delivery of a decision.

 

(5)

After clarification of the dispute from a factual and legal point of view, the Decision making authority allows time to each party for a written opinion and replication which cannot be longer than three days, resp. five days, after which it proceeds to the delivery of a decision.

Closing of the case

Art.59

(1)

The Decision making authority delivers a decision within 10 days after the expiry of the deadline for written opinions and replications.

 

(2)

Within the deadline set in the previous paragraph, the Decision making authority issues a general order with which it closes the case, if it finds that no preconditions are in evidence for the delivery of a decision for the case upon its merits.

 

(3)

In the case of a conclusion of an agreement that the parties wish to be reproduced as an arbitration decision under stipulated conditions, the Decision making authority delivers a decision within 5 days after the presentation of the request for this and the agreement.

VIII.       FEES, COSTS AND FILE CABINET

Arbitration fees and costs

Art.60

(1)

The calculation and distribution of the arbitration fees and the covering of the costs of the Arbitration court is done according to the tariffs for arbitration fees and costs and the tariffs for the arbitrators’ remuneration that are part and parcel of the present Statutes.

 

(2)

The Chief of the court and Decision making authority puts the party demanding collection of proofs under the obligation to pay a deposit meeting the costs for the collection of the requested proofs.

 

(3)

Actions for which no deposit is paid are not undertaken.

 

(4)

The Decision making authority determines the remuneration of the interpreters/ translators, the secretary and the expert witnesses, as well as their traveling expenses when traveling is necessary.

 

File cabinet

Art.61

(1)

The secretary of the court, instructed by the Chief of the court, keeps a file cabinet for the decisions, in which extracts are entered from the motives of the decisions that have importance of principle.

 

(2)

The file cabinet is accessible for parties on cases and their authorized persons. Against payment of a fee copies from files can be issued. Copies are issued after depositing request to the Chairperson of Arbitration Court.

 

(3)

Files are accessible only for parties on them. Against payment of a fee, copies from files can be issued. Access is provided and copies are issued after depositing request to the Chairperson of Arbitration Court.

 

(4)

Chairperson of Court can permit opinions of Arbitration Court to be promulgated in the periodical print and in separate collections. Promulgation may include names of parties and such data which can affect their interests. Chairperson of Court may exclude from promulgation other data ass well whose announcement he/she finds inappropriate.

 

ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS

§1. The amendments adopted with a decision registered in Report #3 from 02.07.2012 take effect from 02.07.2012 and are applied to the statements of claim filed with Arbitration Court Sofia after this date.

§2. Regarding the statements of claim filed with Arbitration Court Sofia before 02.07.2012, the provisions of the Statutes of the Arbitration Court Sofia in force prior to this date are applied.

§3. All powers of the Chairperson of Arbitration Court under these statutes shall be performed by his/her deputy at their explicit assignment by the Chairperson of the association “Legal advice and mediation”.

These Statutes have been voted in at the Constituent Assembly of the Non-profit Association “Arbitration Court –Veliko Tarnovo” with a decision registered in Report #1 from 13.03.2009 and they have come into force from 13.03.2009; amended with decision of the General assembly of the Non-profit Association “Arbitration Court –Veliko Tarnovo” registered in Report #2 from 20.12.2010, in force from 01.01.2011, amended with a decision of the General assembly of the Non-profit Association “Legal advice and mediation”, report #3 from 02.07.2012, in force from 02.07.2012, amended by Decision of General assembly of the Non-profit Association “Legal advice and mediation”, taken on 30.01.2017, in force from 30.01.2017.

 


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