puce_AFA Arbitration : The business dispute resolution process

Arbitration is a private and binding dispute resolution system, voluntarily accepted by the parties, recognized by States and international institutions. Disputes are resolved outside the courts, often confidentially in a manner best adapted to the nature and complexity of the dispute.


Arbitration involves the appointment of an Arbitral Tribunal made up of one or more arbitrators designated by the parties (usually two), and a third arbitrator. This arbitrator can be nominated whether by an institution like the AFA or by the parties, or by the arbitrators named by the parties.

While signing an arbitration agreement referring to AFA ’s Arbitration Rules, parties agree that their arbitration will be ruled by the AFA, whose rules are accepted to be binding.

Through the acceptance of AFA ’s Rules, parties secure their procedures.

The AFA ’s General Secretary will examine the arbitration request before sending it to the defendant(s) –provided that such request fulfills all requirements set out in article 2- §1.

The choice of arbitrators is up to the parties. The AFA does not have any list of arbitrators and parties are entitled to choose arbitrators they trust. If a difficulty arises regarding the constitution of the tribunal, the Arbitration Committee will settle it.

The AFA ’s Arbitration Committee looks after the proper conduct of the proceedings. Its members’ skills, experience and independence ensure the seriousness of the procedure.

Confidentiality : Both arbitrators and Arbitration Committee members are strictly subject to confidentiality.

Transparency : A scale of arbitrator’s fees and AFA ’s administrative expenses is appended to the AFA ’s rules (available online).

Arbitration results in a binding decision known as an award. In international cases the award is final and cannot be appealed. It can only be challenged on a limited number of procedural grounds and the case cannot be retried. In a number of countries, including France (see below) the courts have a strong pro-arbitration policy and only rarely interfere with the decisions of arbitrators.

Paris : the Home of International Arbitration. Of all the major arbitration countries, France has the most pro-arbitration laws, which favor the freedom and flexibility of arbitration. An arbitration that takes place in France is run according to the rules and in the manner chosen by the parties : this concerns the arbitration procedure as much as the law chosen to govern the dispute. Neither French laws nor French language are required.