Legal System in Slovenia

Arbitration

The arbitration law in Slovenia is regulated by the Slovenian Arbitration Act, which has mainly adopted the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration into domestic legislation.

The role of Courts

Court intervention is very limited. The courts may assist the arbitration body where the latter’s power is limited, for example, in issuing subpoenas to witnesses, and may provide legal aid to produce specific pieces of evidence that cannot be produced before the arbitration (article 31 Arbitration Act). Apart from that, state courts assist in appointing arbitrators and may set aside arbitration agreements.

The major Slovenian institutional arbitration is the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), which is an autonomous and independent arbitral institution attached to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia.

Proceedings of the PCA are regulated by two separate sets of rules: Rules of Arbitration and Rules of Conciliation. The rules are mainly based on the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules of 1976, but also contain some elements of other leading arbitral institutions. The parties may also decide to use the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules in proceedings before the PCA.

Enforcement of Arbitral Awards

Slovenian law stipulates no time limit for the delivery of the arbitral award. It must be issued in writing and signed by a majority of the arbitrators. The award shall contain an explanation, unless stipulated differently by the parties. The date of the award and the place of the arbitration shall also be mentioned. If not signed by all arbitrators, the award has to contain the reasons why it is not signed by all arbitrators. Every party receives one copy of the award (article 35 of the Arbitration Act). Arbitral awards are considered to have the same effects on the parties as a final judgment would have (article 38 of the Arbitration Act).

Domestic and foreign arbitral awards shall be enforced after the District Court of Ljubljana declares their enforceability. The court may refuse the request for enforcement if a reason for reversion by official duty exists. Since Slovenia is a party to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, enforcement of foreign awards is also subject to this state treaty.

Appeal

The parties may not waive their right to appeal an arbitral award. Upon an appeal to the court (called ‘a complaint for reversion of the award’), an arbitral award shall be reversed if it is proven by the plaintiff:

  • that one of the parties was incapable of concluding the arbitral agreement or the agreement is not valid under the chosen law (if the law was not chosen, Slovenian law is applicable);
  • that the plaintiff was not properly informed about the appointment of the arbitrator or arbitral proceedings, or it was in any other way deprived of the right to make a statement in front of the arbitration panel;
  • that the award concerns a subject matter not covered with the arbitration agreement, or the award is over the limits determined in the arbitration agreement; or
  • that the composition of the arbitration panel or arbitration proceedings was not in accordance with the arbitration agreement, unless the arbitration agreement was against compulsory provisions of the Arbitration Act, or (in the absence of an arbitration agreement) was not in accordance with the Arbitration Act.

The award may also be reversed if the court by official duty determines that the subject matter of the dispute shall not be subject of the arbitration agreement, or that the award is against Slovenian public order.

The complaint for reversion of the award may be filed in three months after the party filing the complaint received the award.

The reversion of the award shall not have any effect on the arbitration agreement on which the arbitration was based (article 40 Arbitration Act).

Alternative Dispute Resolution- ADR

ADR in Slovenia is practiced mainly as arbitration and mediation (both as a part of the court proceedings and as a settlement method, practiced outside the courts).

The Mediation in Civil and Commercial Matters Act was adopted in 2008. Its goals are easier access to ADR and encouragement of ADR through encouraging the use of mediation and ensuring equilibrium between mediation and court proceedings.

Mediation may be offered by the judge or may be proposed by any party. Either way, the consent of both parties is demanded.  The parties may agree that the dispute settlement agreement shall take the form of a directly enforceable notarial act, a court settlement or an arbitral award based on the settlement.