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Arbitrators violate right to be heard if they do not deal with material arguments by parties (Swiss Supreme Court)

05 March 2014

Authors: Nathalie Voser, James Menz

In a German-language decision dated 4 February 2014 and published on 26 February 2014, the Swiss Supreme Court held that an arbitral tribunal violated the right to be heard where it failed to address a material argument which the party had raised consistently and prominently. The party had repeatedly argued that certain claims were excluded by a contractual provision and by a contractual liability scheme. The tribunal had restated this argument in its respective summary of the parties' positions but then failed to address it in the reasoning.

The decision is noteworthy because successful challenges to arbitral awards are so rare. It also underscores that the Swiss Supreme Court, while not engaging in an appeal on the merits, looks quite closely at whether the arbitral tribunal has dealt with the parties' arguments (Decision 4A_460/2013.)

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Published in Practical Law Arbitration


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