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Swiss Supreme Court considers application to set aside domestic award for arbitrariness

26 November 2014

Authors: Nathalie Voser, Benjamin Moss

In a French-language decision dated 30 September 2014, the Swiss Supreme Court rejected an application to have a domestic arbitral award set aside on grounds of arbitrariness. It confirmed that an award, pursuant to Swiss law, can only be arbitrary from a factual point of view where an arbitral tribunal's findings manifestly refute the case's evidentiary record. By contrast, an arbitral tribunal's evaluation or assessment of specific evidence cannot be arbitrary. The Swiss Supreme Court also confirmed that only a clear violation of the law can amount to arbitrariness from a legal point of view.
As the Swiss Private International Law Act (PILA) permits parties to an international arbitration to "opt-out" and proceed in accordance with the Swiss Civil Code of Procedure, which governs domestic arbitration, the availability of the "arbitrariness" challenge in domestic arbitration should be on the mind of any party that is considering opting out of or into the PILA and may even be a reason in itself for doing so. (Decision 4A_274/2014.)

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Published in Practical Law Arrbitration


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