Having lagged behind in its arbitration rules for 30 years, Denmark has become an attractive country in which to conduct arbitration. Denmark now has one of Europe’s most modern and streamlined arbitration acts, and if they so wish, the parties can exert a substantial influence on how the case is handled.
The author, who often acts as arbitrator in Danish and International arbitration cases, will analyse the options which the parties have under the new Danish arbitration act (hereinafter called the AA) for influencing how their case is handled, and thus for making this process more efficient. This article thus analyses the degree of party autonomy associated with the choice of arbitration in Denmark.
It will be shown that the AA provides a very broad framework for autonomy, and the article will seek to balance the parties’ desire for efficiency in the handling of an arbitration case against the fundamental protection of legal rights. The article concludes by listing 18 specific areas in which autonomy can be used to advantage when pursuing arbitration in Denmark.
The law is of course often a balance (jus) between opposing interests. In this case the opposing interests can be defined as 1) the desire for an efficient case handling, and also 2) the desire to protect the parties’ legal rights. By opting for arbitration, the parties must be said to have expressed a desire for streamlining and speedy handling which implies that justice delayed is justice denied, and which therefore often also implies the waiving of certain guaranteed legal rights – although the parties and their representatives may not directly experience this as a waiving of rights.
The following is an attempt to define the point of balance between the two opposing interests in more detail, and the article concludes at the practical level with an overview of arbitration areas to which party autonomy applies.European Business Law Review