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Jus cogens raised against enforceability of arbitral award

26 February 2014

Authors: Nathalie Voser, Julie Raneda

The Swiss Supreme Court has upheld a decision granting enforcement of a foreign arbitral award, rejecting an appeal based on alleged violations of jus cogens (an international peremptory norm).

The 2001 award ordered a Swiss company and three Israeli companies to pay an Iranian company over US$95 million in respect of crude oil shipments delivered in 1978. The Geneva courts granted enforcement of the award. The petitioner appealed to the Swiss Supreme Court, arguing that enforcement of the award would breach Swiss public policy because it would violate the international sanctions against Iran, which should be considered as a fundamental principle of jus cogens, from which no derogation was permitted.

The Swiss Supreme Court's decision gives some insight into the way the evolution of international politics may impact international commercial arbitration. (Decision 4A_250/2013.)

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Published in Practical Law Arbitration

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Elliott Geisinger
Elliott Geisinger

Nathalie Voser
Nathalie Voser

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