Law on Commercial Arbitration Effective 2011

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Sept. 3 – In June, Vietnam updated its law on commercial arbitration to give investors another option to resolve both contractual and non contractual disputes beginning January 1, 2011.

The Law on Commercial Arbitration, also referred to as Law 2010, is a step forward towards aligning Vietnamese regulations to international standards. The new law improves on those outlined in Ordinance on Commercial Arbitration of 2003.

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Law 2010 expands on the Ordinance 2003 saying that “any other form which clearly shows the intention of the parties to resolve disputes by arbitration”  will also include the following:

  • An agreement established by the exchange of written information between the parties
  • An agreement prepared in writing by a lawyer, notary or competent organization at the request of the parties
  • Reference by the parties during the course of a transaction to a document such as a contract, source document, company charter or other similar documents which contain arbitration agreement
  • Exchange of a statement of claim and defense which express the existence of an agreement proposed by one party and not denied by the other party

Moreover, Law 2010 redefines conditions wherein an arbitration agreement may be rendered invalid if  “the arbitration agreement breaches a prohibition prescribed by law.”

Consumers are also given more rights under Law 2010; allowing them to opt to bring the case to court or resort to arbitration to settle a dispute.

When Law 2010 is implemented next year, qualified and duly appointed foreign nationals will be able to act as arbitrators in dispute cases.  Vietnam will also be allowing foreign arbitration institutions to open in the country either as a branch or a representative office.

For more information on the arbitration process in Vietnam, please contact Dezan Shira & Associates at