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Swiss Supreme Court clarifies standard for challenging the basis of preliminary or interim awards regarding an arbitral tribunal's composition or jurisdiction

01 October 2014

Authors: Nathalie Voser, Jörn Eschment

The Supreme Court has found that, when an interim or preliminary award is challenged because the arbitral tribunal was improperly constituted or had wrongly accepted jurisdiction, the factual basis for the arbitral tribunal's finding regarding its constitution and jurisdiction is open to objections based on Article 190(2)(c), (d), and (e) of the Private International Law Act (PILA). However, this is only to the extent that such objections are directly related to the issues of composition or jurisdiction. Applying these principles, the Supreme Court confirmed a sole arbitrator's jurisdiction based on the parties' true and common intention ("real consensus") to arbitrate. The Supreme Court also found that the phrase "the Arbitration Committee, to be established in Basel" meant arbitration proceedings under the auspices of the Basel Chamber of Commerce, rather than an intention for the dispute to be determined by ad hoc arbitration.

This decision will be published in the official court reporter and, as such, carries particular weight. (Decision 4A_74/2014.)

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Published in Practical Law Arbitration


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