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Blogs - Arbitration Case Digest

The limitation period applicable following a failed attempt to enforce an arbitral award prevails over limitation periods set by substantive law

27.09.2018 – Case Number: 5A_375/2017 (13 June 2018)

In a decision dated 13 June 2018, the Swiss Supreme Court reversed the decision of the lower courts and ruled for the first time that the limitation period for a claim evidenced by a certificate of shortfall must be assessed in accordance with the rules of the DEBA, irrespective of whether foreign or Swiss substantive law is applicable to the original claim (in casu a claim resulting from an arbitral award rendered in Singapore).

The Swiss Supreme Court concluded that Article 149a (1) DEBA, which provides that a claim evidenced by a certificate of shortfall becomes statute-barred 20 years after the certificate has been delivered, applies regardless of the reservation of the provisions of the Swiss Private International Law Act (PILA) expressed in Article 30a DEBA. The ordinary limitation period under the applicable substantive law for the claim to be enforced, which had lapsed in the meantime, had been replaced by the 20-year limitation period, which began with the delivery of the certificate of shortfall. (Decision 5A_375/2017.)