A Belgian distributor has signed different distributorship agreements with a Finnish concession provider, which stipulate that disputes shall be decided through arbitration in Finland under Finnish law. After the termination of the distributorship agreements by the Finnish concession provider, the Belgian distributor claims before the Belgian court an equitable compensation and additional compensatory damages on the basis of the provisions of article X.36 and following of the Belgian Code of Economic Law. The Finnish respondent raises in limine litis a plea for lack of jurisdiction based on the arbitration agreement.
The Court considers that the arbitration clause is valid and that, as a consequence, it has no (international) jurisdiction.
The claim is indeed arbitrable in the present circumstances, given among others the reform of Part six of the Code of Civil Procedure regarding arbitration and the new Belgian arbitration law of 24 June 2013.
The Court leaves it for the competent jurisdiction (the arbitral tribunal) to decide whether or not the matter must be examined under Finnish law or under the provisions of the Belgian Code of Economic Law.b-Arbitra | Belgian Review of Arbitration