Arbitration courts can also resolve consumer disputes

The first Bulgarian seminar on topic "Current issues of arbitration proceedings" took place in Sofia.

The seminar was organized by the National Center for Legal Training and the Sofia Arbitration Court with the featuring of magistrates, deputy ministers, representatives of state institutions as well as prominent specialists in the law.

Emphasis was on the need for citizens to be more widely informed about the possibility of resolving consumer disputes through arbitration courts.

Deputy Minister of Justice Andrey Yankulov insist the importance of arbitration proceedings as an alternative way of resolving disputes, replacing the state administration. "Arbitrage proceedings have a number of advantages and are a quick, efficient and last but not least economic means of resolving civil and commercial disputes", added Deputy Minister of Economy Lyuben Petrov. Arbitration proceedings are a popular method for solving disputes in Europe , there by facilitating the judiciary and improving the economy of a country. In Bulgaria, for example, the problem of inter-company indebtedness can be overcome faster and more effectively through arbitration courts.

Three main themes were put in focus: the necessary conditions for arbitration proceeding, the leading European practices, and the possibility of repealing arbitration decisions. According to Prof. Ognian Stamboliev, Professor of “Civil procedural law, in order for the case to be heard by arbitration and to have a valid arbitration decision, two prerequisites are necessary - the arbitration court should be empowered by the parties and the dispute to be able to be considered by the arbitration court. All proprietary disputes are able to be considered by the arbitration court,  rights of possession, real estate property or rights following from employment relationships cannot be subject of arbitration. An important conclusion is that an arbitration clause in consumer contracts is not unfair within the meaning of the Consumer Protection Act.

Concerning the possibility of subsequent control over the decisions of the arbitration courts, Assoc. Prof. Ventsislava Zhelyazkova, arbitrator at BCCI, is categorical that the control of the Supreme Court of Cassation in arbitration cases with consumers is extremely precise.

The President of the Arbitration Court Sofia at the Legal Aid and Mediation Association (SPPM) Dragomir Zhelyazkov added that in addition to civil and commercial property disputes, the court could resolve disputes about filling gaps in contracts or adjusting them to new circumstances between parties, legal entities. Arbitration courts are internationally recognized and can be used as arbitrators in cases between countries domiciled in Bulgaria and abroad.



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