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Swiss Supreme Court considers setting aside and revision requests in light of potential criminal sanctions faced by petitioner

26 November 2014

Authors: Philippe Bärtsch, Aileen Truttmann

In two French-language decisions dated 23 September 2014, made public on 22 October 2014, the Swiss Supreme Court dismissed a petition to set aside an award and a request for the revision of the same award. The petitioner had contended that it would likely face criminal sanctions if it were to comply with the award due to ongoing criminal investigations concerning allegations of bribery. The setting aside petition was dismissed because the Swiss Supreme Court found that the award did not violate public policy. While bribery is contrary to public policy, it will only lead to the annulment of an award if the alleged bribery is proven and if the arbitral tribunal failed to take it into account, which was not the case here. The revision request was dismissed because the petitioner had failed to demonstrate that the new circumstance relied upon was likely to modify the outcome of the arbitration.

This case is also a useful reminder that a petition to set aside an award has precedence over a revision request. (Decisions 4A_231/2014 and 4A_247/2014.)

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Published in Practical Law Arbitration

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