Dispute resolution methods are litigation, negotiation, mediation and arbitration. Handing disputes requires litigation law firm with dispute lawyers in Vietnam having experience and knowledge to provide resolutions to complex cross-border issues, commercial and civil disputes.
In the current business environment, most business agreements could contain a clause stipulating that disputes arisen must be resolved in arbitration. For a dispute to be referred to arbitration, there must be a valid arbitration agreement in writing, either as an arbitration clause within a contract or a separate agreement. If the agreement is included within the context of a contract, the arbitration clause is considered independent, and any modification, extension, or termination of the contract does not affect the validity of the arbitration clause. Vietnamese law allows for a written arbitration agreement to take the form in any written form, so long as the writing clearly indicates the parties’ intent to resolve any dispute via arbitration. If a dispute falls within the scope of a valid arbitration agreement, but a party attempts to initiate court proceedings, the residing court does not have jurisdiction over the matter, and must drop the case. Moreover, an arbitration agreement does not have to stipulate specific dispute matters and/or the arbitration organization authorized to resolve disputes without supplemental agreement. Even if there is a valid arbitration agreement, Vietnamese Arbitration Law stipulates that in order for a dispute to go to arbitration, it must also fit into one of three categories:
(1) disputes arising from “commercial activities”;
(2) disputes where at least one party is engaged in commercial activities;
(3) other disputes where the law stipulates that arbitration is a permissible means of resolution.
In category (1), the term “commercial activity” is defined in Commercial Law No. 36-2005-QH11 (31 December 2005) as “activity for profit-making purposes comprising the purchase and sale of goods, provision of services, investment, commercial enhancement, and other activities for profit-making purposes.” The types of disputes that often fall into the second category are noncommercial disputes, such as civil disputes, where at least one party to the dispute is engaged in commercial activities. However, this category does not apply in disputes between a good/service provider and a consumer. In this case, the law allows the party to choose between litigation and arbitration. Even the agreement includes a standard arbitration clause in the supply of goods or services contract, the dispute may not be arbitrated without the consumer’s consent. The final category of disputes permissible for arbitration gives legislators discretion to expand or maintain the types of disputes resolved through arbitration. An example of a category (3) dispute is a dispute arising from investment activities governed by the Law on Investment.
Arbitration has become an extremely popular method of dispute resolution, as many businesses prefer it over the high costs of litigation.