For a long time now, judicial practice has been voicing its displeasure over construction processes with excessively long proceedings and results that are almost impossible to predict any longer. This is closely linked with inadequate staffing of the courts and a structural lack of specialist knowledge among the judges involved in construction matters. Under these circumstances, it is hardly surprising that the construction industry is increasingly choosing not to make use of the state courts and relying on other proceedings to decide its construction disputes.

Arbitration is a variant of such an extra-judicial dispute settlement which can however be enforced in a similar manner as the judgement of a civil court with state assistance. In this way, arbitration acts as a link between an extra-judicial dispute settlement delegated to a third party and its public enforcement. Therefore, it is subject to statutory procedural provisions, which contain the minimum requirements of the rule of law for an orderly dispute procedure and regulate the revision and enforcement of arbitration rulings made on this basis.

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For German arbitration, the procedure is regulated in §§ 1025 – 1066 ZPO (German Code of Civil Procedure). The provisions concern ad-hoc arbitration proceedings in which the parties have not agreed on any further procedural rules apart from a mandatory arbitration agreement. This must be differentiated from administered arbitration proceedings with agreed arbitration rules which are permitted in accordance with § 1042 (4) ZPO. Such available arbitration rules, which are tailor-made for the construction industry and published by different institutions, are often referred to in practice.
The most important rules for German arbitration tribunals are:

Depending on the agreement of the parties, arbitration tribunals are made up of one or more arbitrators, two of whom are appointed by the parties, who in turn appoint the chairman of the three-person arbitration tribunal.