Swiss International Arbitration Rules To Be Updated

Author:Dr. Thomas Rihm
Profession:Rihm Attorneys


Global surveys on the international arbitration scene published in 2015 continue to name Switzerland as one of the leading places for international arbitration along with London, Paris, Singapore and Hong Kong. One of the reasons for this century-old worldwide recognition of Switzerland as an international arbitration hub is that Switzerland enacted in 1989 a legal framework for international arbitration which the world still considers as state-of-the-art, innovative and of remarkable quality.

"The proposed bill intends to make Swiss international arbitration laws even more readable and therefore more user-friendly."

In order to preserve and further bolster Switzerland's globally leading position in the international arbitration world - be it ad-hoc or institutional, sports or investment protection arbitration based on BITs - the Swiss Federal Government has launched on January 11, 2017, a legislative bill which aims at incorporating some of the more important court precedents rendered by the Swiss Supreme Court in connection with Swiss international arbitration laws (technically speaking: the 12th Chapter of the Swiss International Private Law Act of 1989) over the last 30 years. At the same time, some questions that remained open since the enactment of the Swiss International Private Law Act of 1989 (the "Act") shall be solved.

The proposed bill's intention is to make Swiss international arbitration laws even more readable and therefore more user-friendly. The following is an overview on some of the cornerstones of the proposed legislation which is - as mentioned - more a fine tuning than a real overhaul.

Changes and amendments in more detail

Rectification, explanation, amendment and revision

The rectification, explanation, amendment and revision of an international arbitration awards were not regulated by the Act so far. In line with the Swiss Civil Procedural Code of 2011, the Act now provides for these legal remedies, thereby writing into the law a variety of Swiss Supreme Court precedents rendered over the last 12 years, which confirmed the availability of a rectification, explanation, etc. even w/o an explicit legal basis in the Act.

"The proposed bill wants to see the residence/business incorporation test met when the arbitration agreement was taken."

A rectification of an international arbitral award can e.g. be requested if mere editorial and /or calculation mistakes need to be corrected. The arbitral tribunal must render...

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