An arbitration clause is an agreement by which the parties to a contract undertake to submit to arbitration the disputes which may arise in relation to that contract.
An arbitration clause is void unless it is set forth in writing in the main agreement or in a document to which that agreement refers.
Subject to the same penalty, the arbitration clause must either appoint the arbitrator or arbitrators or provide for a mechanism for their appointment.
If, after the dispute has arisen, a difficulty arises in the constitution of the arbitral tribunal as a result of the conduct of one of the parties or with respect to the implementation of the mechanism of appointment, the President of the Tribunal de Grande Instance shall appoint the arbitrator or arbitrators.
However, this appointment shall be made by the President of the Tribunal de Commerce if the agreement has expressly so provided.
If the arbitration clause is either manifestly void or inadequate for the purpose of constituting the arbitral tribunal, the President shall so state and declare that no appointment need be made.
The dispute shall be submitted to the arbitral tribunal either jointly by the parties or by the most diligent party.
If void, the arbitration clause shall be deemed not written.
CHAPTER II - The submission agreement
A submission agreement is an agreement by which the parties to a dispute that has arisen submit such dispute to arbitration by one or more persons.
A submission agreement is void unless it sets forth the subject matter of the dispute.
Subject to the same penalty, it must either appoint the arbitrator or arbitrators or provide for a mechanism for their appointment.
A submission agreement shall lapse when an arbitrator whom it appoints does not accept the mission entrusted to him or her.
A submission agreement shall be evidenced in writing. It may take the form of minutes signed by the arbitrator and the parties.
The parties shall have the right to submit their disputes to arbitration even where proceedings are already pending before another jurisdiction.
CHAPTER III - Common rules
The mission of arbitrator may only be entrusted to a natural person; such person must have full capacity to exercise his or her civil rights.
If the arbitration agreement appoints a juridical person, such person only has the power to organize the arbitration.
The constitution of the arbitral tribunal is complete only if the arbitrator or arbitrators accept the mission entrusted to them.
An arbitrator who is aware of a ground for challenge regarding his or her person shall so inform the parties. In such a case, he or she may accept his or her mission only with the agreement of the parties.
An arbitral tribunal shall be composed of a sole arbitrator or of several arbitrators in an uneven number.
When the parties appoint an even number of arbitrators, the arbitral tribunal shall be completed with an arbitrator chosen either in accordance with the mechanism envisaged by the parties or, in the absence of such mechanism, by the appointed arbitrators or, in the absence of agreement between the appointed arbitrators, by the President of the Tribunal de Grande Instance.
When a natural or juridical person is responsible for organizing the arbitration, the arbitral mission shall be entrusted to one or several arbitrators accepted by all the parties.
In the absence of such acceptance, the person responsible for organizing the arbitration shall invite each party to appoint an arbitrator and shall, if appropriate, proceed to appoint the arbitrator required to complete the arbitral tribunal. If the parties fail to appoint an arbitrator, such arbitrator shall be appointed by the person responsible for organizing the arbitration.
The arbitral tribunal may also be directly constituted in accordance with the procedures set forth in the preceding paragraph. The person responsible for organizing the arbitration may provide that the arbitral tribunal make only a draft award and that if such draft is contested by one of the parties, the matter shall be submitted to a second arbitral tribunal. In such a case, the members of the second tribunal shall be appointed by the person responsible for organizing the arbitration, each of the parties having the right to have one of the arbitrators so appointed replaced.
If the arbitration agreement does not specify a time limit, the arbitrators' mission shall last only six months from the day the last arbitrator accepted his or her mission.
The statutory or contractual time limit may be extended either by agreement of the parties or, at the request of either of them or of the arbitral tribunal, by the President of the Tribunal de Grande Instance or, in the case provided for in Article 1444, paragraph 2, by the President of the Tribunal de Commerce.
In the cases provided for in Articles 1444, 1454, 1456, and 1463, the President of the Tribunal, seized as in expedited proceedings (r閒閞? by a party or by the arbitral tribunal, shall rule by way of an order against which no recourse is available.
However, such order may be appealed when the President holds that no appointment shall be made for one of the reasons set forth in Article 1444 (paragraph 3). The appeal shall be brought, heard and decided as for recourse against jurisdictional decisions (contredit de comp閠ence).
The President having jurisdiction is the President of the Tribunal designated by the arbitration agreement or, in the absence of such designation, the President of the Tribunal of the place where that agreement located the arbitral proceedings. If the agreement is silent, the President having jurisdiction is the President of the Tribunal of the place where the party or one of the parties opposing the application to the President resides or, if such party does not reside in France, the President of the Tribunal of the place where the party making the application resides.
When a dispute submitted to an arbitral tribunal by virtue of an arbitration agreement is brought before a national court, such court shall decline jurisdiction.
If the arbitral tribunal has not yet been seized of the matter, the court shall also decline jurisdiction unless the arbitration agreement is manifestly void.
In neither case may the court decline jurisdiction on its own motion.
Any provision or agreement contrary to the rules set forth in the present Chapter shall be deemed not written.
The arbitrators shall determine the arbitral procedure without being bound to follow the rules established for the courts, unless the parties have provided otherwise in the arbitration agreement.
However, the fundamental principles of court proceedings set forth in Articles 4 to 10, 11 (paragraph 1) and 13 to 21 shall always apply to arbitral proceedings.
If a party is in possession of an item of evidence, the arbitrator may also order that party to produce it.
Procedural orders and minutes shall be made by all the arbitrators unless the arbitration agreement authorizes them to delegate this task to one of them.
Third parties shall be heard without being sworn.
Each arbitrator shall carry out his or her mission until it is completed.
An arbitrator may only be dismissed with the unanimous consent of the parties.
An arbitrator may only refuse to act or be challenged on a ground which is revealed or arises after his or her appointment.
Difficulties relating to the application of the present article shall be brought before the President of the competent court.
The arbitral proceedings shall come to an end, unless otherwise specifically agreed by the parties:
1?nbsp; On the dismissal, death, or incapability of an arbitrator or on the loss of his or her full capacity to exercise his or her civil rights;
2?nbsp; On an arbitrator refusing to act or being challenged;
3?nbsp; On the expiration of the time limit for arbitration.
The suspension of the arbitral proceedings is governed by the provisions of Articles 369 to 376.
Unless otherwise agreed, the arbitrator shall have the power to resolve an incidental claim for verification of a person's writing or forgery in accordance with Articles 287 to 294 and Article 299.
In the case of an incidental claim for forgery of official documents, Article 313 is applicable before the arbitrator. The time limit for the arbitration shall continue to run from the day when the incidental claim has been decided.
The arbitrator shall fix the date upon which deliberations shall begin.
After this date, no claim may be made, nor any argument raised. No observation may be presented nor any evidence produced, except at the request of the arbitrator.
Arbitrators' deliberations shall be confidential.
The arbitral award shall be made by a majority vote.
The arbitral award shall succinctly state the respective claims and arguments of the parties.
Reasons shall be given for the decision.
The arbitral award shall indicate:
?nbsp; the names of the arbitrators who made it;
?nbsp; its date;
?nbsp; the place where it was made;
?nbsp; the last names, first names or denomination of the parties, as well as their domicile or corporate headquarters;
?nbsp; if applicable, the names of the counsel or other persons who represented or assisted the parties.
The arbitral award shall be signed by all the arbitrators.
However, if a minority among them refuses to sign it, the others shall mention the fact and the award shall have the same effect as though it had been signed by all the arbitrators.
The arbitrator shall resolve the dispute in accordance with the rules of law, unless the parties, in the arbitration agreement, have empowered such arbitrator to rule as amiable compositeur. Article 1475
The award brings an end to the arbitrator's jurisdiction over the dispute it resolves.
However, the arbitrator has the power to interpret the award, to rectify clerical errors and omissions affecting it, and to complete it when he or she has failed to rule on a claim. Articles 461 to 463 are applicable. If the arbitral tribunal cannot be reconvened, this power shall vest in the court which would have had jurisdiction in the absence of arbitration.
Once it is made, the arbitral award is res judicata in relation to the dispute it resolves.
The arbitral award may only be enforced by virtue of an enforcement order (exequatur) issued by the Tribunal de Grande Instance of the place where the award was made.
For this purpose, the original of the award, together with a copy of the arbitration agreement, shall be filed by one of the arbitrators or by the most diligent party with the secretariat of the court.
The enforcement order is affixed to the original of the arbitral award.
Reasons shall be given for any order refusing enforcement.
The rules on provisional enforcement of judgments are applicable to arbitral awards.
In the case of an appeal or an action to set aside, the First President or the magistrate conducting the procedure, once the matter is referred to him or her, may grant enforcement of the arbitral award and declare it provisionally enforceable. He or she may also order provisional enforcement pursuant to the procedure provided for in Articles 525 and 526; his or her decision shall be the equivalent of an enforcement order.
An award shall be void unless it complies with the provisions of Articles 1471 (paragraph 2), 1472, with respect to the names of the arbitrators and the date of the award, and 1473.
An arbitral award may not be the subject of opposition proceedings or of a petition to vacate before the Cour de Cassation.
It may be the subject of third party opposition proceedings before the court which would have had jurisdiction had there been no arbitration, subject to the provisions of Article 588 (paragraph 1).
An arbitral award may be appealed unless the parties waived their right to appeal in the arbitration agreement. However, it may not be appealed where the arbitrator has been empowered to rule as amiable compositeur, unless the parties expressly reserved the right to do so in the arbitration agreement.
Where, in accordance with the distinctions made in Article 1482, the parties have not waived their right to appeal or have expressly provided for such right in the arbitration agreement, an appeal is the only form of recourse available, be it to obtain the revision or the setting aside of the arbitral award. The appellate judge shall rule as amiable compositeur where the arbitrator was empowered to do so.
Where, in accordance with the distinctions made in Article 1482, the parties have waived their right to appeal or have not expressly reserved such right in the arbitration agreement, an action to set aside what is characterized as an arbitral award may nonetheless be brought, notwithstanding any provision to the contrary. It is available only in the following cases:
1?nbsp; Where the arbitrator ruled in the absence of an arbitration agreement or on the basis of an agreement that was void or had expired;
2?nbsp; Where the arbitral tribunal was irregularly constituted or the sole arbitrator irregularly appointed;
3?nbsp; Where the arbitrator ruled without complying with the mission conferred upon him or her;
4?nbsp; When due process has not been respected;
5?nbsp; In all cases of nullity envisaged in Article 1480;
6?nbsp; Where the arbitrator has violated a rule of public policy.
When a court seized of an action to set aside sets the arbitral award aside, it shall rule on the merits of the case within the limits of the arbitrator's mission, unless otherwise agreed by all the parties.
Appeals and actions to set aside shall be brought before the Court of Appeals of the place where the arbitral award was made.
These forms of recourse are admissible immediately after the making of the award; they are no longer admissible if they have not been exercised within one month of the official notification of the award bearing an enforcement order.
Enforcement of the arbitral award shall be suspended for the period during which these forms of recourse may be exercised. The exercise of such recourse during that period shall also have a suspensive effect.