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The Danish Institute of Arbitration

Fasttrack dispute resolution!

Photograph: Pexels

Text: Mariano Anthony Davies

Since 1894, Denmark has had a permanent arbitration institution which has assisted in the resolution of different types of disputes. Over time, the Institute has accumulated considerable knowledge on arbitration procedures and the composition of arbitral tribunals in relation to both national and international arbitration.

The present institute

The Danish Institute of Arbitration (the “DIA”), a non-profit private institute, was founded in 1981 by the Danish Bar and Law Society, the Danish Society of Engineers, the Association of Danish Judges, SME Denmark and the Federation of Danish Engineers.

The Danish Construction Association, the Danish IT Industry Association, the Confederation of Danish Industries, the Institute of State Authorized Public Accountants in Denmark, the Danish Shipowners’ Association, the Danish Chamber of Commerce and the Danish Arbitration Association have subsequently joined the circle of organisations behind it.

Appointing Arbitrators

When appointing arbitrators, the DIA takes due account of the qualifications required from the arbitrator, as agreed between the parties, and factors ensuring that an independent, impartial arbitrator is appointed. In cases where not all parties to the dispute reside in the same country, the DIA will appoint an arbitrator residing in a country other than those in which the parties reside unless otherwise agreed between the parties. When appointing the members of the individual arbitral tribunal, the DIA seeks to ensure that the best possible, objective and materially correct decision is obtained.

Arbitral tribunals are comprised of persons with the highest legal and technical expertise who are generally recognised in their field of work. Whenever possible, the DIA accommodates the wishes of the parties in its appointment of arbitrators. It also offers mediation in accordance with the Rules of Procedure for Mediation laid down by the Council in 2015.

Before being appointed, an arbitrator must sign a Declaration of Acceptance and of Impartiality and Independence. At the same time, the arbitrator must disclose in writing any circumstances that might give rise to reasonable doubt about the arbitrator’s availability, impartiality or independence. The arbitrator must also produce information on his or her professional and educational background (CV). The Secretariat then forwards the declaration and the CV to the parties and fixes a deadline for any comments.

"In the cases filed in 2022, the parties came from 23 different nationalities (including Denmark)."

DIA statutes

The Statutes and the Rules are available in Danish and English. Furthermore, the website also contains recommendations regarding the wording of arbitration and mediation clauses as well as a calculator of arbitrator and mediator fees plus the administrative costs to be paid to the DIA.

All kinds of national and international disputes, regardless of nature, are within the remit of the arbitral tribunals appointed by the DIA. There are no limitations in the range of subjects for which the Dia appoints arbitral tribunals, apart from such cases that must be brought before an ordinary court of law by mandatory legislation.

Dispute resolution

Within the range of services offered by the DIA, disputes can be resolved in an adequate and satisfactory manner through the advantages offered by arbitration. The Rules of Simplified Arbitration Procedure and the Rules of Mediation Procedure are intended to meet the requirements of the business community for a more informal and free dispute resolution that is also less costly.

Copenhagen Arbitration Day

The event takes place at Børsen (The Old Stock Exchange), a historical building situated in the centre of Copenhagen, next to the Danish Parliament and the Supreme Court.

Copenhagen Arbitration Day is the main event of the Danish arbitration calendar. It offers an outstanding opportunity to explore the fundamental issues in international arbitration - to network and to be updated on international trends. The conference is followed by a reception and dinner at the Royal Library, which is a few minutes’ walk from the conference venue, and the event is sponsored by Dreyer’s Fond and a group of prominent law firms.

In the cases filed in 2022, the Parties came from 23 different nationalities (including Denmark), a total of 51 final awards on the merits were rendered and approximately 21% of all the arbitrator appointments at the DIA were female. Out of the arbitrators appointed by the Parties, approximately 6% were female, whereas 33% of the DIA appointed arbitrators were female.

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