No, they could not. According to Article 6 of The Arbitration Law 2010, where the parties in dispute already have an arbitration agreement but one party institutes court proceedings, the court must refuse to accept jurisdiction unless the arbitration agreement is void or incapable of being performed.

The arbitration agreement is void and null in the following cases (Article 18 of The Arbitration Law 2010):
1. The dispute arises in a sector outside the competence for arbitration prescribed in article 2 of this Law.
2. The person who entered into the arbitration agreement lacked authority as stipulated by law.
3. The person who entered into the arbitration agreement lacked legal capacity pursuant to the Civil Code.
4. The form of the arbitration agreement does not comply with article 16 of this Law.
5. One of the parties was deceived, threatened or coerced during the process of formulation of the arbitration agreement and requests a declaration that the arbitration agreement is void.
6. The arbitration agreement breaches a prohibition prescribed by law.
10. How to submit a Statement of Claim to VIAC?
A Statement of Claim shall be directly submitted to the headquarter of VIAC at No. 9, Dao Duy Anh, Hanoi, Vietnam.
A Statement of Claim shall contain the following information:
– Date on which the Statement of Claim is made;
– Names and addresses of the parties; and names and adresses of witnesses (if any);
– Summary of the matters in dispute;
– Grounds and evidence ,if any, of the claim
– Specific relief sought by the claimant and value of the dispute;
– Name and address of the person in the list of arbitrators whom the claimant selects as arbitrator or requests for an arbitrator to be appointed by the President of the Centre.
Together with the Statement of Claim, the claimant is required to attach originals or certificated copies of the arbitration agreement, related evidence and regular vouchers of advance payment of arbitration fees. The Statement of Claim as well as all documents annexed thereto shall be supplied in a number of copies (05 copies) sufficient to provide one copy for each arbitrator of the arbitral tribunal, one for the respondent, and one to be kept in VIAC.
11. What is the New York convention? How many countries are members of the Convention? Is Vietnam a member of this Convention?

The United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the New York Convention) was adopted in 1958 and entered into force on 7 June 1959. The New York Convention seeks to provide common legislative standards for the recognition of arbitration agreements and court recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards. Foreign arbitral awards will not be discriminated against and Parties are obliged to ensure such awards are recognized and generally capable of enforcement in their jurisdiction in the same way as domestic awards. Besides, the New York Convention requires courts of Parties to give full effect to arbitration agreements by requiring courts to refuse to accept jurisdiction if the parties in dispute already have an arbitration agreement.

There are now 137 countries and territories participating the New York Convention. Vietnam joined the Convention on December 12, 1995.

If you would like further information on Could parties submit a petition to the court while they have already agreed upon an arbitration agreement?, please either email to our Partners at: info@sblaw.vn or call to our Office:
Ha Noi Office: +84 (4) 62 62 0246
HCM Office: +84 (8) 35 208 101.
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