Arbitration Court in Malta
Arbitration Court in MaltaUpdated on Friday 13th April 2018
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Arbitration in Malta represents an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedure employed to settle commercial disputes. Arbitration has started to gain terrain in front of court settlements when it comes to resolving disputes as it takes less time and it costs less money. The main disputes settled by the Malta Arbitration Centre (MAC) refer to:
- - insurance,
- - construction public procurement,
- - maritime issues,
- - litigation between shareholders.
Our law firm in Malta can offer more information on the arbitration procedure in this country.
The Malta Arbitration Centre
The Malta Arbitration Centre is the main dispute settlement instrument in litigation cases when parties agree to submit their claims to it. The Arbitration Centre is also involved in promoting arbitration as a method of resolving issues without appealing to court proceedings.
The Malta Arbitration Centre can arbitrate various disputes except for marriage dissolutions. Also, disputes involving real estate properties, traffic accidents with no injured persons and with damages not exceeding 12,000 EUR, as well as litigations concerning utilities matters, such as electricity, can only be addressed with the Malta Arbitration Centre.
The Arbitration Law in Malta
The Arbitration Act or Chapter 387 is comprised in the Laws of Malta and it is based on the UNCITRAL Model Law (The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law). The main regulations of the Maltese Arbitration Act states that dispute settlement must be done only if an arbitration agreement was concluded in writing and if the claims have been registered with the Malta Arbitration Centre. However, the process mustn’t necessarily take place at the Malta Arbitration Centre.
The arbitration procedure in Malta
An arbitration procedure in Malta can start after one of the parties, named claimant, files an arbitration notice with the Arbitration Centre. MAC will register the notice and send it to the other party known as the respondent.
The respondent will send a statement of defense to the claimant, but also to the Malta Arbitration Centre or the arbitral tribunal. If the dispute will be settled by an arbitral tribunal, the panel can be formed of one arbitrator or more depending on the sum of the claim.
Both parties are allowed to present the evidence they gathered. The award of the arbitration must be written and once it is registered by the MAC it will be definitive.
The arbitration agreement in Malta
The arbitration procedure is based on an agreement which is signed by both parties participating in the process. Nowadays, most contracts contain arbitration clauses, however this contract can also take the form of a separate document which is attached to another contract. According to the Arbitration Law in Malta, this type of agreement must be in writing and must provide for the parties admitting to any dispute to be resolved by the Arbitration Court in Malta.
Why choose arbitration over other legal proceeding in Malta?
Arbitration is usually used in commercial disputes because of the shorter procedure and the lower costs involved. Also, the parties can choose the rules under which the dispute can be resolved, meaning they can even negotiate various clauses in the contract, therefore they can reach an agreement. The parties will be the ones deciding on the method of appointing the arbitrators; however, these must be impartial in judging the case.
There are no limitation periods in an arbitration process, however the parties must know that they have the right to appeal a decision one time only.
Another advantage of arbitration is that it is regulated at international level, therefore a Maltese company can also carry out these proceedings in another jurisdiction by following international regulations. Malta is currently one of the most appreciated arbitration centers in Europe.