No, French law is more user-friendly and less interventionist than the typical UNCITRAL law, especially with regard to international arbitration. One difference is the determination of what international arbitration is. Article 1, paragraph 3, of the UNCTOS model law has both a seat-based approach and a party-based approach. On the other hand, French law adopts an economic approach centred on cross-border flows of capital, services or assets. Where legal proceedings are initiated despite the existence of an arbitration agreement, the courts must reject the jurisdiction unless the arbitration tribunal has not been referred and the arbitration agreement is manifestly null and void and not aigale or manifestly unenforceable (Article 1448 CCP). The parties must codify the Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) Decree No. 2011-48 of January 13, 2011, the primary legal source for arbitration. Continuing the French government`s desire to “adapt the French judicial system to current international economic and legal issues” (Report on recommendations on the establishment, Paris of specialized chambers for the handling of international business litigation, 3 May 2017, p. 4), two international chambers of commerce were created on 7 February 2018: one at the Paris Commercial Court and the other before the Court of Appeal. The International Chamber of the Court of Appeal is composed of 10 judges fluent in English. The Chamber has the power to review decisions on economic and commercial disputes with an international dimension and to consider challenges to national arbitrations (Protocol on procedure before the International Chamber of the Paris Court of Appeal, February 7, 2018).
In addition, the 2016-1547 Act was enacted on March 23, 2019, following negotiations and consultations. The text aims to develop the resolution of online disputes. Under section 4-1 of the Act, a natural or legal person who offers mediation, mediation or online arbitration services, whether free or not, must fulfill several obligations. First, they must comply with French rules on the protection of personal data. Second, they are required to respect confidentiality and to inform the parties of conciliation, conciliation and arbitration procedures. With respect to arbitration, section 4-2 stipulates that the arbitration award can be rendered electronically, unless the parties object. There is no provision that excludes multi-party arbitration agreements. If the parties do not agree on the procedure for appointing arbitrators, the body responsible for administering the arbitration or the judge defending the arbitration procedure appoints them (Article 1453 CCP).