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Two domestic "awards" declared null and void

29 March 2016

Authors: Nathalie Voser; Jörn Eschment

In a joint decision, the Swiss Supreme Court declared two domestic awards null and void because the arbitrator had based his jurisdiction on an implied consent to arbitrate in a manner that the court found to be "far­-fetched", "brash" and "presumptuous".
The decision illustrates that, in very rare cases, the Supreme Court is prepared to declare an award null and void. Whenever it does, this "non-­award" is the direct consequence of the fact that certain decisions or declarations cannot and do not constitute an award even if they purport to. Whilst the present decision related to domestic arbitral proceedings, the petition to declare an award null and void must, in principle, also be available as a remedy in international settings. (Decisions 4A_618/2015 and 4A_634/2015.)

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Published in Practical Law Arbitration


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