- Discussions at EELA conferences have shown that there is an increasing demand for arbitration in disputes between senior employees and employers in an international context. This applies in particular to conflicts with managers who have worked in different countries and/or worked simultaneously under separate contracts with different legal entities of the same employer. Litigating these cases before national employment tribunals has proven extremely difficult, as often already the questions of the competent venue or the applicable law create enormous difficulties. Unwillingness of local courts to deal with foreign laws and foreign language documents is another factor.
Taking this development into account, the EELA Board has decided to develop an arbitration platform for such disputes. The core element of this platform was the development of EELA Arbitration Rules which are particularly tailored to disputes between companies and senior managers in an international context. In the development of these arbitration rules, the UNCITRAL Arbitration rules were taken as a basis.
- If the parties agree to an arbitration under the EELA Arbitration Rules, they are of course free to amend these rules as they see fit, as they are free to appoint the arbitrator(s) themselves. If however an agreement on the arbitrator(s) cannot be reached, the EELA Arbitration Committee can be entrusted with the task to appoint suitable arbitrator(s). To that effect, the EELA Arbitration Committee has drawn together a list of individual EELA members who are interested in arbitration and have the necessary arbitration experience, in particular in an international context, so that they may possibly be appointed as arbitrators. If you are interested in being included in this list, please send a short CV demonstrating your experience in international arbitration to the chairman of the EELA Arbitration Committee (currently George Z. Georgiou).
- The EELA Arbitration Committee is aware of the fact that in some countries (e.g. Germany, Spain) arbitration is generally prohibited in all employment matters, so that only disputes with the legal representatives of companies (which are not regarded as employees) can be subject to arbitration. For other countries however, the possibilities for arbitration are broader. It is therefore imperative that, before referring a matter to EELA arbitration, the parties carefully check whether under the applicable national laws of the relevant case arbitration is admissible.
- In this section of the EELA website, you will also find sample agreements by which a particular matter can be referred to EELA arbitration, be it as part of an employment contract (where such clauses are permissible), before a conflict has arisen or thereafter.
- EELA hopes that the arbitration initiative will become a success. Therefore, if you have a matter which might be suitable for arbitration, why not suggest using the EELA Arbitration Rules? This is in particular worth a try if the opposing lawyer is also an EELA member and therefore is familiar with EELA Arbitration!
- If you have any suggestions or comments to make regarding the EELA Arbitration Initiative, please turn directly to the Chairman of the EELA Arbitration Committee.