What is arbitration?

Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution, where the parties agree that the dispute will not be decided by a state court, but rather by a panel of arbitrators. In comparison to state court proceedings arbitration is faster, less expensive and offers a higher degree of confidentiality. Furthermore, parties are able to shape the proceedings to a great extent (e.g. language, seat of arbitration, applicable law and the arbitrators) to the need of the parties involved.

The VIAC is competent to administer disputes, when the parties have agreed that the proceedings are to be conducted in accordance with the Rules of Arbitration of VIAC (the Vienna Rules). This agreement can be either part of the contract governing the subject matter of the dispute or can be agreed on also after the dispute has arisen. VIAC administers only international cases involving at least one party with its place of business or normal residence outside of Austria or cases concerning disputes with an international character.

In case of unclear or incomplete arbitral agreements the European Convention on International Commercial Arbitration of 1961 (EC 1961) - to which Austria is a member – may provide a way out (for further information please click here).


The final decision is an arbitral award, which is effective and enforceable in the same way as a judicial decision (court judgment). The award becomes binding upon service to the parties. Thanks to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958, an award is recognised and enforceable in most countries worldwide, which is of great advantage in international business. 

For an overview of the Vienna International Arbitral Centre please see an article by Manfred Heider and Alice Fremuth-Wolf in Arbitration World International Series (5th edition), Thomson Reuters (2015) Arbitration World International Series.

Please click the following flow-chart to see how arbitration proceedings will be conducted under the new Vienna Rules.


Flow Chart