Although it traces its history over centuries, the 20th century witnessed arbitration becoming a standard method for resolving disputes in many specialised industries - such as maritime, construction, commodities, and insurance - where the arbitrators’ technical expertise was particularly valued. Since the start of the 21st century, arbitration has been ever increasingly embraced by the international community, with many recognizing its importance as the primary means of resolving complex, transnational commercial disputes. Indeed, the most recent surveys of the major arbitral institutions show that arbitration cases are on the rise, with an estimated new case load in 2020 representing more than $100 billion in dispute before arbitral tribunals worldwide. In July 2022, The Hague Court of Arbitration for Aviation launched at the Farnborough International Airshow in service of global aviation industry.
The Hague Court of Arbitration for Aviation offers the global aviation industry deeply specialized arbitration as a fast, fair, flexible and final form of binding dispute resolution conducted before an expert neutral tribunal, in private, pursuant to arbitration rules and procedures specifically tailored to the unique needs of a unique industry. Such arbitration is, of course, voluntary and emanates from the contractual agreement of the parties, though it is regulated and enforced by national laws - in effect, the administration of justice by arbitrators, replacing proceedings before courts. The potential ease of enforceability of an arbitral award across jurisdictions compared to, for example, an English or New York court judgement, is a key practical advantage offered by arbitration. To this end, the most important enforcement convention is the 1958 United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (known as the New York Convention). Almost 170 countries are party to the New York Convention, each of which broadly agrees to recognise and enforce arbitral awards made in other contracting states subject only to limited grounds for objection. There is no such wide-ranging convention providing for the enforcement of court judgments
The Arbitration Rules of The Hague Court of Arbitration for Aviation, which include expedited or emergency procedures as well as an array of interim and conservatory measures, are available below
As arbitration is a consensual dispute resolution mechanism, a necessary pre-cursor to any arbitration is a valid agreement to arbitrate. To this end, an arbitration clause may be included as a standard clause in aviation contracts if the parties wish to do so. An arbitration clause in a contract effectively operates as a self-contained contract – thus, even if the main contract is invalid, the clause will still stand to bind the parties, unless it is itself invalid. The drafting of the arbitration clause is, therefore, critical. The Hague Court of Arbitration of Aviation recommends that, where possible, parties incorporate the model arbitration clauses found below.
It is noted that arbitration may also be agreed when a dispute has already arisen and no arbitration clause has been included in the underlying contract(s). In any event, an arbitration must be conducted in accordance with the terms of the parties' consensus, as best memorialised in the arbitration clause of the underlying contact or contracts in dispute, or in stand-alone arbitration agreement executed on an ad-hoc basis following or prior to a dispute arising.
Arbitrator fee(s): a variable amount based on time, the financial interest in the dispute and the complexity of the case, fixed at an hourly rate. This hourly rate is agreed by The Hague Court of Arbitration for Aviation and the mediator upon confirmation of his or her appointment, pursuant to the guidelines set by the Board of Directors of The Hague Court of Arbitration for Aviation. This hourly rate cannot be negotiated and neither can it be negotiated between mediators and the parties. The applicable hourly rates for mediators are provided following the receipt of a Request for Arbitration.
An arbitration is commenced by one or both parties submitting a completed Request for Arbitration form to The Hague Court of Arbitration of Aviation care of the NAI. The application form is completely free.
The requirements a Request for Arbitration must meet are stated in the Arbitration Rules of The Hague Court of Arbitration of Aviation. If the request is not filed by all parties involved jointly, the administrator will send a copy of the request to the other party or parties and invite them to respond.