Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ

On 3 December 2020, another practical seminar was held on the subject of arbitration, organised jointly by the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK), the German Institute of Arbitration (DIS) and IRZ. The event focussed on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on arbitration proceedings and arbitration law. Since the practical seminar was held online, the audience was larger than in previous years. The participating lawyers and corporate lawyers joined the seminar from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Germany.

Once the event had been opened by the joint organisers, the Head of Economic Affairs at the German Embassy, Anne-Kristin Piplica, welcomed the participants. The subjects covered by the practical seminar were presented in four blocks in an interview format, moderated by IRZ Head of Section, Dr. Stefan Pürner. The experts representing IRZ were:

  • Prof. Dr. Milena Djordjević, LL.M. (Pittsburgh), Law Faculty of the University of Belgrade and a board member of the Serbian Arbitration Association
  • Victor von Essen, M. Jur. (Oxford), a lawyer and Deputy Secretary General and Head of Case Management at DIS

One of the things that became clear was that the two arbitration institutions based in Belgrade and the DIS arbitration proceedings provide extremely good value for money. They offer the same level of quality but are less expensive than other internationally far more famous institutions. Both speakers also confirmed that the flexibility of arbitration proceedings is a considerable advantage, particularly at present. Any disruption to contractual relationships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic can be dealt with quickly by arbitration proceedings, with the result that the number of these is increasing at present.

The speakers also emphasised the fact that the proactive role of arbitrators in DIS proceedings offers a considerable advantage compared with arbitration proceedings based on the legal interpretation of common law.