In its Mai´ & June´ issues the periodical Soukromé právo (Private Law) by Wolters Kluwer has been published an article (Part I & Part II) of professor Alexander J. Bělohlávek „Extent, Purpose & Nature Of The Special Provisions On Service Of Documents In The Act On Arbitration“.

The special provisions on service of documents contained in Section 19a of the Czech Act No. 216/1994 Coll., on arbitration and on the enforcement of arbitral awards with effect from 1 January 2014 raising considerable doubts and ambiguities. Nor can there be any basis from the legislative process for interpreting the intention of this special provision. The nature of this provision is particularly questionable, i.e. whether the rules are of cogent or dispositive nature. However, Professor Bělohlávek is more inclined towards the dispositive nature of Section 19a of the Arbitration Act, provided that the following hierarchy of rules for service applies: (i) individual rules agreed upon by the parties pursuant to Section 19(1) of the Arbitration Act; (ii) the application of the rules of a permanent arbitral institution (if an arbitration agreement has been concluded in favour of a permanent arbitral institution) or other arbitration rules, if annexed to the arbitration agreement (Section 19(4) of the Arbitration Act); (iii) procedure pursuant to Section 19a of the Arbitration Act. However, contrary to the rules in force and effective before the adoption of the Act No. 303/2013 Coll., resp. before the inclusion of the Section 19a into the Act on Arbitration, arbitrators are no longer entitled to decide on the method of service of documents themselves within the framework of their disposition on the conduct of the proceedings and on the progress in the proceedings. If there is no express agreement between the parties, arbitrators have to proceed exactly according to Section 19a of the Arbitration Act, i.e. they are not entitled to deviate down from this rule.