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Clause referring to 'International Chamber of Commerce, Zürich' with no reference to arbitration or dispute settlement is not a valid arbitration agreement

29 July 2015

Authors: Philippe Bärtsch; Jörn Eschment

In a French-language decision dated 3 June 2015 and published on 30 June 2015, the Swiss Supreme Court rejected a petition to set aside an award declining jurisdiction on the ground that there was no valid arbitration agreement. In this case, the clause in the relevant agreement merely referred to "the International Chamber of Commerce, Zürich", with no reference to arbitration or the settlement of disputes.
The Supreme Court agreed with the arbitral tribunal that consent to refer the dispute to arbitration had not been established. In that context, the Supreme Court confirmed its case law on how arbitration clauses must be interpreted and on the distinction between invalid and pathological arbitration clauses. (Decision 4A_676/2014.)

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Published in Practical Law Arbitration

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