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Swiss Supreme Court confirms practice regarding perceived violations of procedural rights

03 April 2013

Authors: Nathalie Voser, Hannah Boehm

In German-language decision 4A_407/2012, dated 20 February 2013 and published on 19 March 2013, the Swiss Supreme Court considered a petition to set aside an arbitral award on the ground of a violation of procedural rights, and in particular whether the objection had been raised in a sufficiently unequivocal manner during the arbitral proceedings.

The Swiss Supreme Court has upheld the decision of an arbitral tribunal seated in Zurich in a dispute between the parties to a share purchase agreement. The Supreme Court concluded that the petitioners had failed to raise the alleged violation of their right to be heard, and the principle of equal treatment of the parties, in a sufficiently clear manner during the arbitral proceedings. For this reason, the court dismissed the challenge.

This is another in a long series of cases confirming the Supreme Court's practice that, to successfully found a petition to set aside an award, an objection to a perceived violation of procedural rights must be raised as early as possible in the arbitration and must be expressed in an unequivocal manner. The case is also noteworthy as it clarifies that oral objections during a hearing will not suffice, even if they appear to be quite firm and precise. (Decision 4A_407/2012.)

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Published in Practical Law Arbitration


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