Can you get efficient arbitration in Prague?

I was invited to speak on this topic at a recent conference in Istanbul organized by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce and PRIAC - International Arbitration Court in Prague of the Czech Commodity Exchange. I spoke about the typical course of arbitration in the Czech Republic and the application of international standards. Here are the most important aspects of arbitration in the Czech Republic that you should know about.

Framework for efficiency

Prague boasts a robust framework of rules that empower both parties and arbitrators, paving the way for efficient dispute resolution. Unlike some jurisdictions where ambiguity can hinder progress, Prague provides a clear roadmap for navigating arbitration proceedings, ensuring that the process remains focused and streamlined.

Principles driving procedure

Central to the approach to arbitration in Prague are the principles of equality, fairness and procedural efficiency. These guiding principles ensure that all parties are treated equally throughout the process, thereby fostering confidence in the arbitration system.

Language flexibility

In Prague, the importance of language flexibility in arbitration proceedings is recognized. As English is the lingua franca of international business, Prague allows parties to use foreign languages, particularly English, which makes the process more accessible and facilitates communication. Many Czech arbitrators are also fluent in German.

Detailed statement of claim

A notable aspect of arbitration in Prague is the emphasis on a detailed statement of claim. Unlike international standards, which may allow for briefer submissions, Prague adopts a front-loaded approach, requiring parties to provide comprehensive details early in the process. This proactive approach minimises later disputes and increases overall efficiency.

Rich tradition and education

With a rich tradition rooted in civil law, Prague has long been a stronghold of arbitration. Its integration into legal education ensures that future generations of legal professionals are well equipped to navigate the intricacies of arbitration. This makes Prague a natural choice for resolving complex commercial disputes.


Prague strikes a delicate balance between transparency and confidentiality. Arbitrators are bound by confidentiality, but not the parties. This is similar to the Austrian or Hungarian approach. The English and Danish approach, on the other hand, is that the parties are also bound to secrecy about facts that come to their knowledge during the proceedings. However, this is a very different area and I doubt that we can call the English approach an "international standard".

The important thing is that if it is important to you (or your business partner), include a confidentiality clause in the contract or arbitration agreement.

Delivery management

In Prague, reputable courier services are increasingly being used. The arbitration court (arbitrator) is obliged to mark the delivery date.

However, the claimant bears the burden of proof if there is any doubt as to when the statement of claim was delivered.

Time management

In Prague, we emphasise the importance of setting deadlines to encourage progress and avoid unnecessary delays. By setting ambitious deadlines and promoting a culture of efficiency, Prague ensures that arbitral proceedings remain focused and result-oriented. It is an often observed phenomenon: people rarely finish anything if there is no deadline, and if there is a deadline, they certainly do not finish before it.

Streamlined evidence practices

In contrast to the extensive discovery processes typical of IBA Guidelines arbitrations, in Prague, we favour efficiency by focusing on targeted evidence gathering. Rather than exhaustive discovery, which can prolong proceedings, arbitration rules in our country encourage a more strategic approach. This not only saves time and resources, but also ensures that the arbitration remains focused and result-oriented.

Prague Rules for proactive arbitration

For those seeking a proactive approach to arbitration, Prague rules emerge as a preferred choice. With its emphasis on efficiency, transparency, and fairness, Prague rules provide a fertile ground for resolving commercial disputes in a timely and cost-effective manner.

PRIAC – International arbitration court for commodity trade disputes

If you are involved in commodities trading, I recommend using PRIAC. Its list of arbitrators offers a number of very interesting experts. PRIAC can also arbitrate disputes between two foreign traders, so there is certainly no need for either party to be from the Czech Republic.

In addition, PRIAC has introduced new rules to ensure even greater efficiency. One interesting new rule, for example, is the option to leave it to the arbitral tribunal to decide whether your dispute will be decided by a single arbitrator or by a panel of several arbitrators.


In conclusion, Prague is a shining example of legal innovation in the field of arbitration. With its rich tradition, robust framework and commitment to efficiency, Prague continues to attract parties from around the world seeking a swift and equitable resolution to their disputes.

If you are looking for an arbitration seat, Prague should definitely be on your shortlist! For commodity traders, PRIAC can be an excellent choice.

Ladislav jr. ZVOLSKÝ


Pařížská 7

110 00 Praha, Czech Republic

T: +420 776 895 096



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