Requirement under Swiss law to timely file jurisdictional objection confirmed
25 November 2015
Authors: Nathalie Voser
; Katherine Bell
The Swiss Supreme Court has rejected a petition to set aside an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) award. The Supreme Court held that, among other grounds, the petitioner had not raised his jurisdictional objection at the beginning of the arbitral proceedings and was therefore deemed to have accepted the sole arbitrator's jurisdiction.
The decision serves as a reminder that Article 186(2) of the Swiss Federal Statute on Private International Law (PILA), under which a plea of lack of jurisdiction must be raised prior to any defence on the merits, remains applicable when an arbitration seated in Switzerland is subject to the ICC Rules. The decision also demonstrates the importance for counsel to bear in mind the potential need to object to the arbitral tribunal's jurisdiction as an alternative line of argument in case the main line of arguments on the merits is not heard and the subsidiary line of argument alone triggers the jurisdictional objection. (Decision 4A_172/2015.)
Published in Practical Law Arbitration
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