Arbitration In Switzerland

Author:Mr Daniel Hochstrasser, Nadja Jaisli Kull, Predrag Sunaric and Nadine Wipf
Profession:Baer & Karrer
 
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LAWS AND INSTITUTIONS

Multilateral conventions relating to arbitration

1 Is your jurisdiction a contracting state to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards? Since when has the Convention been in force? Were any declarations or notifications made under articles I, X and XI of the Convention? What other multilateral conventions relating to international commercial and investment arbitration is your country a party to?

Switzerland is a contracting party to the New York Convention. It entered into force on 30 August 1965. Switzerland originally made a reciprocity reservation pursuant to article I(3) of the New York Convention, but withdrew it in 1993.

Switzerland is also a contracting party to the Geneva Protocol on Arbitration Clauses of 1923 and the Geneva Convention on the Execution of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 1927. However, according to article VII(2) of the New York Convention, these treaties cease to have effect between contracting states to the New York Convention. As a consequence, the Geneva Convention has had no effect since 2007. Today, the Geneva Protocol applies only in relation to Iraq.

Finally, Switzerland is also a contracting party to the Washington Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States of 1965.

Bilateral investment treaties

2 Do bilateral investment treaties exist with other countries?

Switzerland has signed over 120 bilateral investment treaties (for further details see www.seco.admin.ch/seco/en/home/ Aussenwirtschaftspolitik_Wirtschaftliche_Zusammenarbeit/ Wirtschaftsbeziehungen/Internationale_Investitionen/Vertragspolitik_ der_Schweiz/overview-of-bits.html).

Domestic arbitration law

3 What are the primary domestic sources of law relating to domestic and foreign arbitral proceedings, and recognition and enforcement of awards?

Swiss law distinguishes between international and domestic arbitration. Chapter 12 of the Federal Statute on Private International Law applies to international arbitration (ie, where at least one of the parties has its domicile or regular place of residence outside of Switzerland at the time it enters into the arbitration agreement). Part 3 of the Civil Procedure Code (articles 353 et seq) applies to domestic arbitration (ie, where none of the parties has its domicile or regular place of residence outside Switzerland at the time the arbitration agreement is concluded).

The parties to a domestic...

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