The Supreme Court of Cassation recently addressed a supply contract between two parties that contained a ritual arbitration clause. Pursuant to the clause, an arbitration proceeding had been commenced, which had resulted in the defendant being ordered to pay damages. The defendant had subsequently appealed the arbitral decision for alleged violation of the procedural rules, despite the fact that appeals for the violation of substantive rules are precluded by legislation and case law.
The Supreme Court of Cassation recently found that parties alleging nullity of an arbitral award for the late delivery of the decision must notify the other parties and arbitrators before the award's deliberation pursuant to the Code of Civil Procedure. The decision strongly reaffirms a general principle of primary importance regarding arbitration under the code.
The Supreme Court of Cassation recently examined the relationship between real estate leasing agreements and mandatory mediation in banking and finance agreements. Basing its decision on Article 5 of Legislative Decree 28/2010, which provides that mandatory mediation must be attempted in banking and finance agreements, the court found that in legal proceedings regarding real estate leasing agreements, it is not mandatory to attempt mediation.
In a recent decision the Supreme Court of Cassation – while addressing a question relating to the ritual or non-ritual nature of an arbitration clause – seized the opportunity to reaffirm that the decision of a judge on the validity and effectiveness of an arbitration clause for non-ritual arbitration is not appealable before the Supreme Court of Cassation on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction.
A recent Supreme Court of Cassation decision concerned a tribunal president's rejection of a motion to recuse an arbitrator appointed by the counterparty to a dispute and appoint a third arbitrator. The court found that under Article 815(3) of the Code of Civil Procedure, the decision of an arbitral tribunal president regarding a request for the recusal of an arbitrator cannot be appealed.
The Court of Cassation recently addressed both whether disputes concerning the withdrawal of a shareholder from a company may be submitted to arbitration and the validity of an arbitration clause regarding a specific dispute between a shareholder and a company where the clause does not assign the right to appoint the arbitrator to a third party. The court affirmed that, as a shareholder's right of withdrawal concerns economic disposable rights, disputes in this regard may be submitted to arbitration.
The United Sections of the Court of Cassation recently addressed the matter of jurisdictional preventive regulations and seized the opportunity to reaffirm the jurisdictional nature of arbitration proceedings. The court affirmed the principle according to which an international arbitration clause can invalidate the jurisdiction of the ordinary Italian courts regarding a notice of objection against a preliminary injunction.
The Court of Cassation recently ruled on the conferment of a company dispute to the jurisdiction of an arbitral tribunal based on the arbitration clause contained in the company's articles of association. The tribunal had accepted the exception raised by the counterparties concerning its lack of jurisdiction, but the claimant appealed this decision before the Court of Cassation.
A recent Supreme Court of Cassation decision addressed the invalidity of arbitration clauses that do not agree with Decree-Law 5/2003, which concerns judicial procedures for corporate matters. The court found that in arbitration proceedings concerning disputes between business partners, the clause referring to the appointment of arbitrators assigned to the parties will be void even if stipulated before Decree-Law 5/2003 came into force.
The United Sections of the Supreme Court of Cassation recently addressed a case concerning a cooperative that had been sued before an arbitral tribunal by three partners who alleged that their exclusion, which the company had approved, had been illegitimate. The court found that the 30-day forfeiture term to appeal a decision excluding a partner of a cooperative, as provided for by the Civil Code, is applicable even in the presence of an arbitration clause in the cooperative's articles of association.
A recent Supreme Court of Cassation decision examined the long-standing question of how to interpret Article 827(3) of the Code of Civil Procedure, which provides that an arbitral award which partially decides the merit of the dispute is immediately appealable, whereas the award which decides some of the questions raised, without resolving the arbitral proceeding, is appealable only together with the final decision.
The Supreme Court of Cassation recently considered the nullification of an arbitral decision based on a violation of the rules regarding the merit of the dispute, as set out in Article 829(3) of the Civil Procedure Code as modified by Decree-Law 40/2006. According to the previous version of Article 829(2) of the Civil Procedure Code, unless the parties expressly agreed otherwise, an arbitration award could be appealed for a violation of mandatory laws; however, the revised text overturns this clause.
The Supreme Court of Cassation recently ruled on a dispute between two companies which had accepted two separate arbitration clauses. The court decided that the existence of two arbitration clauses governing the same relationship is a question of merit, rather than jurisdiction, which excludes the possibility that the court examining the procedural facts can also decide who is in charge of the dispute.
A recent Supreme Court of Cassation decision examined whether arbitrators can impose on parties mandatory time limits for the expiry of allegations, conclusions and evidence. The decision clarified that – given the power of arbitrators to regulate arbitration proceedings under the Civil Procedure Code – arbitrators can fix mandatory deadlines, provided that the parties have been informed of this in advance.
The Mediation Law – which transposed the EU Mediation Directive into Italian law – originally provided that a large range of disputes could not be brought before civil courts unless the plaintiff had first attempted mediation. However, the Constitutional Court recently overturned the law on the grounds that it exceeded the scope of both the directive and the Italian Constitution by making mediation mandatory.
The introduction of mandatory mediation in Italy for certain types of dispute saw a blossoming of mediation institutions and an upsurge in demand for mediators' services. Reactions to the change over the past two years - in business circles and from institutions, lawyers and mediators themselves - reveal developing attitudes that augur well; however, it is the approach of the courts that is likely to prove crucial.
Mediation has recently become mandatory for many common classes of dispute, with the aim of reducing the vast backlog of civil cases pending before Italian courts. The legislative change has generated great interest in mediation, but has also sparked fierce opposition in some quarters. Overall, it could signal a dramatic and positive shift in Italy's use of mediation.
The Milan Chamber of Arbitration's new rules make it fully competitive with international arbitration venues. Among other things, the reinforcement of the tribunal's case management powers - for example, on the choice of law, the taking of evidence and the admission of new claims - should allow the tribunal to adopt a more balanced and flexible approach to determination without sacrificing reasonable expediency.
The Italy-China Business Mediation Centre for the resolution of commercial disputes among Italian and Chinese companies became operational in 2005. The purpose of the creation of the centre is to capitalize on the experiences of leading mediation service providers in both Italy and China.
The Communications Regulatory Authority requires parties to attempt out-of-court resolution before bringing court proceedings. In a judgment for a preliminary ruling the European Court of Justice has held that national law may provide for mandatory out-of-court mediation procedures as a condition of admissibility to court proceedings on certain conditions.