What, in your opinion, is the main advantage and the main disadvantage of litigating international commercial disputes?
Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Court litigation in Sweden is safe, predictable and ensures a high level of compliance with Swedish substantive law. The judges maintain high integrity and, at least in the district courts of Sweden’s largest cities and in the courts of appeal, possess the competence to deal with large and complex commercial disputes. In addition, in medium-sized disputes, court litigation is a viable alternative in terms of how fast they are adjudicated. In addition, enforcement actions based on an award are usually quick and efficient. The main disadvantages are that the proceedings can be slow in larger disputes and that Swedish judges are typically generalists; the adjudication of very complex commercial disputes sometimes suffers from a lack of specialisation, especially in terms of business acumen.
In Portugal, commercial disputes can be adjudicated upon in Judicial Courts or Arbitrational Courts.
There are Arbitration laws with the basic rules that must be followed by the parties and the Court. Arbitration Courts are faster than their judicial counterparts when it comes to analysing and ruling on the matter, but the case can become more expensive since parties have to pay not only the Court fees but also the arbitrators (that are usually well known attorneys or Professors at Law Faculties), in addition to lawyers.
For more than 10 years, the Portuguese judicial system has operated via an online platform – CITIUS – where judicial files are accessible: papers have to be submitted trough this platform and judges’ decisions are also registered here. As a result, parties are able to understand what is happening in their proceedings at any time and print whatever they need to.
If the amount requested in the file does not exceed € 250.000,00, court fees will not be as expensive as with arbitration proceedings. In a realistic scenario, if the case is not too complex and no extraordinary circumstances arise, it can be ruled on approximately in one and a half years in the first instance Court.
The main disadvantage in my opinion is that litigation can be quite lengthy. There are no strict time tables and there are many delay tactics which parties can adopt to prolong the life span of a dispute.
Cost can be also viewed as a disadvantage especially if compared to neighbouring countries. However, it could be deemed as an advantage if compared to other methods of dispute resolution such as arbitration.
As for the advantages, there are many. The main advantages in my opinion is that there is always a strive to develop the judicial system.
In addition, the judicial system is quite independent and there is no political or governmental interference which would influence the courts findings.
A major disadvantage for claimants is that the judges of the Commercial Court do not award damages for loss of anticipated profit or business interruption, although this may be an advantage for defendants. On the plus side is the judges’ impartiality, with no preference for local parties over non-Saudis.
The main advantage is that Norway has a well-functioning court system that has broad experience in commercial dispute resolution. The major drawback is the processing time. This is particularly the case in some of the courts of appeal. Thus, arbitration may be an option. The Nordic Offshore and Maritime Arbitration Institute (NOMA) has recently established a new framework for professional and cost effective commercial arbitrations, which is specifically adapted to international dispute resolution, and this framework may be used as basis for arbitration in Norway.
The main advantage is that the United States has a sophisticated judiciary with experience resolving a broad range of commercial disputes and expertise on commercial matters. The main disadvantage is that there are potentially many jurisdictions from which litigants can choose—each with their own laws and procedures. Therefore, potential litigants must think carefully about which U.S. jurisdiction would be best suited to resolve their disputes, including how various claims are defined and when the statute of limitations period will run in a given jurisdiction.
The Austrian state courts rank amongst the most efficient in the European Union. The average duration of first instance proceedings with cross-border implications at the district court level is 6 -12 months. This, combined with relatively moderate court fees (calculated by reference to the amount in dispute and capped at 1.2% where the amount in dispute is exceptionally high), makes litigation an accessible dispute resolution tool. On the negative side, there is only limited flexibility on the part of the Austrian state courts as regards the use of foreign languages, in particular English. While there are of course judges who have an excellent command of foreign languages, the Code of Civil Procedure requires that the proceedings are conducted exclusively in German. The resulting need to involve professional translation/interpretation service providers regularly contributes to elevated procedural costs in litigation proceedings involving a foreign party.