In The Pipeline: Zurich International Commercial Court

Author:Ms Natalija Matic
Profession:Rihm Attorneys

Various European countries have created in the last 24 months special state courts for international commercial court disputes which can handle cases in English. Singapore had established its a Singapore International Commercial Court in 2015. In Germany, there is a special Chamber at the Landgericht Frankfurt called the Chamber for International Commercial Matters since the beginning of 2018. In Holland, the Netherlands Commercial Court will commence its work also this year. In Paris, both first and second instance chambers for international commercial disputes have been available since spring 2018. Belgium also wants to create a specialized court, the Brussels International Business Court, which should be operational at the beginning of 2020.

What all models have in common is that the parties can litigate in English, the lingua franca of a globalized economy, so the parties are not required to conduct their cases in the official local languages like German, Dutch or French. The said court projects aim at offering state court proceedings which sometimes may replace international arbitration. It is widely acknowledged that arbitration proceedings are not always the ideal way to go in in all dispute cases due to cost considerations and since arbitral rulings can only be challenged to a limited extent.

Many businesses seeking judicial redress - e.g. Swiss SMEs operating internationally - have the need to submit international commercial disputes to competent state courts. The international commercial courts are also seen as part of a "service public"...

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