The new Belgian arbitration law of 24 June 2013 provides a modern framework for arbitration based on the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration. It is applicable to both national and international arbitration. The new Belgian arbitration law replaces the previous arbitration law which was introduced in 1972 and amended in 1985 and 1998.The new law provides broader criteria for arbitrability, increases party autonomy and the efficiency of arbitration, provides new provisions on provisional and conservatory measures, and sets fundamental principles for the conduct of arbitration proceedings. The arbitration law no longer allows an appeals procedure against the decision taken by the Belgian courts on a claim for annulment of an arbitral award, while permitting only an application for 'cassation' to the Supreme Court against the decision. Foreign parties continue to have the possibility to explicitly exclude claims for annulment of arbitral awards.
On 1 January 2013, new Rules of Arbitration of CEPANI (the Belgian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation) entered into force, replacing the previous Rules of 2005.The 2013 CEPANI Rules introduce a number of new provisions concerning multiparty arbitration and also provide for the possibility of an 'emergency arbitration' prior to the constitution of the arbitral tribunal.
This article examines the important changes made to the Belgian Arbitration Law (Part 1) and to the CEPANI Arbitration Rules (Part 2).Journal of International Arbitration