Court Decisions

The court decisions available on this website interpret and apply the New York Convention. These court decisions are in most cases published in the Yearbook Commercial Arbitration since its Volume I (1976). 

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The court decisions available on this website interpret and apply the New York Convention.

  1. Most decisions are reported in the Yearbook Commercial Arbitration, published by ICCA since 1976, and are numbered as in the Yearbook (e.g., US no. 954).

  2. Other decisions are indicated by country, date, and a short name (e.g., UK 18 June 2020 Alexander Brothers).

Court decisions can be searched by country and by topic.

Court Decisions

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  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 2024-1

    The Federal Supreme Court confirmed the appellate decision refusing to attach assets of the respondent under a Russian award, finding that the lower court had correctly held that the respondent, though jointly and severally ordered to pay damages in the award, had not been bound by the settlement agreement containing the arbitration clause, which the claimant had concluded with other companies of the respondent’s group. The Court pointed out that while the lower courts had framed the defense of lack of arbitral jurisdiction ratione personae under Art. V(1)(a) of the New York Convention – lack of a valid arbitration agreement – theCourt itself generally considered issues of the subjective scope of arbitration agreements to be falling under Art. V(1)(c).

    Bundesgericht, Second Civil Chamber, 12 October 2023, 5A_739/2022

    (A v. B GmbH)

    101

    The court discusses the determination and relevance of the place where the award was made (in a foreign State or another contracting State.

    Award made in the territory of another (Contracting) State (paragraphs 1 and 3 - first or "reciprocity" reservation)
    301

    The court discusses the principle that the procedure for the enforcement of awards under the Convention is governed by the lex fori, as well as procedural issues (such as the competent enforcement court) not falling under the specific cases of ¶¶ 302-307.

    Procedure for enforcement in general
    500

    The court discusses the overall scheme and/or pro-enforcement bias of the Convention.

    Grounds for refusal of enforcement in general
    502

    The court discusses the principle that the merits of the award may not be reviewed and that the court may only carry out a limited review of the award to ascertain grounds for refusal.

    No re-examination of the merits of the arbitral award
    503

    The court discusses the burden of proof of the grounds for refusing enforcement under the Convention.

    Burden of proof on respondent
    512 Ground c: Excess by arbitrator of his authority - Excess of authority
    701

    More-favorable right provision: The court discusses issues relating to the more-favorable right provision in general, including who may invoke it, and when.

    More-favourable-right provision in general
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 54

    The Swiss Federal Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the lower court that an LCIA award could be recognized and enforced in Switzerland against a bankrupt defendant. The request for arbitration had been filed prior to the opening of the bankruptcy procedure, and the subject matter of the dispute had remained objectively arbitrable.

    Bundesgericht, 1 March 2021, 5A_910/2019

    (Company B Ltd. v. Company C AG)

    519

    Public policy: The court discusses cases in which the subject matter of the award was not arbitrable in the enforcement State on public policy grounds.

    Ground a: Arbitrability
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 53

    Bundesgericht, 27 May 2019
    (A v. B Holding AG)

    Bundesgericht, 27 May 2019
    (A v. B Holding AG)

    518

    Public policy: The court discusses the meaning of (international as compared to domestic) public policy, generally defined as the basic notions of morality and justice of the enforcement State.

    Paragraph 2 - Distinction domestic-international public policy
    521

    Public policy: The court discusses the consequences of the apparent or actual bias of an arbitrator on the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award.

    Lack of impartiality of arbitrator
    524

    Public policy: The court discusses the effect of other alleged violations of public policy on the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award, such as contradictory reasons, manifest disregard of the law (US), etc.

    Other cases
    SWITZERLAND 52

    The Supreme Court affirmed the conclusion in first instance that the dispute between the parties had to be referred to arbitration under the arbitration clause in a distribution agreement. The Court held that the lower court should have ascertained whether there had been a meeting of the minds in respect of who were the original parties to the distribution agreement, but concluded that it was unnecessary to refer the case back to the lower court: even if the clause had not been binding between the parties at the time of the conclusion of the distribution agreement, the respondent could rely thereon because it had performed under the distribution agreement for many years, with the consent of all parties.

    Switzerland No. 2020-1, A d.d. v. B SA, Bundesgericht, 4A_646/2018, 17 April 2019

    222

    The court discusses the principle of competence-competence, including whether the parties “intended to have arbitrability decided by an arbitrator”, and the separability of the arbitration agreement from the main contract.

    Arbitrator's competence and separability of the arbitration clause
    226

    Multi-party disputes: The court discusses under which conditions non-signatories are covered by an arbitration agreement entered into by another party.

    Third parties (see also Art. I sub F "problems concerning the identity of the respondent", ¶106)
    SWITZERLAND 50

    Switzerland 50. A Sàrl v. B Ltd., Tribunal fédéral, IIe Cour de droit civil, 5A_862/2017, 9 April 2018

    509

    Due process: The court discusses what constitutes “proper notice” of the appointment of the arbitrators or of the arbitration proceedings.

    "Proper notice"
    524

    Public policy: The court discusses the effect of other alleged violations of public policy on the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award, such as contradictory reasons, manifest disregard of the law (US), etc.

    Other cases
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 51

    Switzerland 51. A Limited v. Republic of Uzbekistan, Bundesgericht, II. zivilrechtliche Abteilung, 5A 942/2017, 7 September 2018

    301

    The court discusses the principle that the procedure for the enforcement of awards under the Convention is governed by the lex fori, as well as procedural issues (such as the competent enforcement court) not falling under the specific cases of ¶¶ 302-307.

    Procedure for enforcement in general
    501

    The court discusses questions relating to the general approach taken by the Convention to the grounds for refusal of recognition and enforcement, including its pro-enforcement bias, as well as the system of the Convention, under which recognition and enforcement may only be denied on seven listed grounds and the petitioner has only the obligations set out in Art. IV.

    Grounds are exhaustive
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 49

    Switzerland 49. A SA v. B Ltd, Tribunal Fédéral, Second Civil Chamber, 4 February 2016

    303

    The court discusses the conditions under which a party may be estopped from raising a ground for refusal of enforcement under the Convention or has waived the right to raise it.

    Estoppel/waiver
    402

    The court discusses how to determine whether the document supplied is an award capable of being recognized and enforced, including whether the award is duly authenticated, and whether a copy is duly certified; whether a prior interim and/or partial award should be supplied together with the final award.

    Original or copy arbitral award
    403

    The court discusses issues relating to the requirement to supply the original arbitration agreement or a copy thereof to prove the prima facie validity of the arbitration agreement, as well as the application of more favorable municipal laws that do not provide for this requirement.

    Original or copy arbitration agreement
    406

    The court discusses issues relating to the requirements of the translation (translation by sworn translator, translation of entire award etc.) and whether a translation is necessary.

    Translation (paragraph 2)
    504 Paragraph 1 - Ground a: Invalidity of the arbitration agreement - Agreement referred to in Art. II
    702

    More-favorable right provision: The court discusses examples of domestic laws of countries where enforcement of foreign awards is more favorable.

    Domestic law on enforcement of foreign award
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 48

    Switzerland 48. Club A v. B, Tribunal Fédéral, First Civil Chamber, 26 February 2015

    110

    The court discusses the definition of “arbitral award”, and the application of the Convention to the various types of award, including awards on specific performance, awards enjoining a party from certain conduct, declaratory awards, etc. Also, whether preliminary, partial, interim, interlocutory awards, and awards by consent can be enforced under the Convention.

    Arbitral award: types
    303

    The court discusses the conditions under which a party may be estopped from raising a ground for refusal of enforcement under the Convention or has waived the right to raise it.

    Estoppel/waiver
    501

    The court discusses questions relating to the general approach taken by the Convention to the grounds for refusal of recognition and enforcement, including its pro-enforcement bias, as well as the system of the Convention, under which recognition and enforcement may only be denied on seven listed grounds and the petitioner has only the obligations set out in Art. IV.

    Grounds are exhaustive
    518

    Public policy: The court discusses the meaning of (international as compared to domestic) public policy, generally defined as the basic notions of morality and justice of the enforcement State.

    Paragraph 2 - Distinction domestic-international public policy
    523

    Public policy: The court discusses alleged violations of a fundamental rule of due process in the arbitration on the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award, including the failure to communicate the names of the arbitrators, the failure to send copies of reports or letters filed in the arbitration, etc.

    Irregularities in the arbitral procedure (see also Art. V(1)(b))
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 47

    Switzerland 47. X SA v. Y GmbH, Bundesgericht, Second Civil Chamber, 25 September 2014

    518

    Public policy: The court discusses the meaning of (international as compared to domestic) public policy, generally defined as the basic notions of morality and justice of the enforcement State.

    Paragraph 2 - Distinction domestic-international public policy
    524

    Public policy: The court discusses the effect of other alleged violations of public policy on the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award, such as contradictory reasons, manifest disregard of the law (US), etc.

    Other cases
    601

    The court discusses the conditions for granting adjournment of a proceeding relating to the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award, and the court’s discretionary power to do so, as well the determination of “suitable security” and the power to request it.

    Adjournment of decision on enforcement
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 46

    Switzerland 46. Bundesgericht, Second Civil Chamber, 2 July 2012

    001

    The court discusses general questions relating to the interpretation of the Convention as an international treaty, also in respect of the methods of interpretation laid down in the 1969 Vienna Convention; the relationship between the New York Convention and the UNCITRAL Model Law and Recommendation 2006. 

    Interpretation of the Convention
    406

    The court discusses issues relating to the requirements of the translation (translation by sworn translator, translation of entire award etc.) and whether a translation is necessary.

    Translation (paragraph 2)
    524

    Public policy: The court discusses the effect of other alleged violations of public policy on the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award, such as contradictory reasons, manifest disregard of the law (US), etc.

    Other cases
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 45

    Switzerland 45. Tribunal Fédéral, Second Civil Chamber, 10 October 2011

    403

    The court discusses issues relating to the requirement to supply the original arbitration agreement or a copy thereof to prove the prima facie validity of the arbitration agreement, as well as the application of more favorable municipal laws that do not provide for this requirement.

    Original or copy arbitration agreement
    502

    The court discusses the principle that the merits of the award may not be reviewed and that the court may only carry out a limited review of the award to ascertain grounds for refusal.

    No re-examination of the merits of the arbitral award
    508 Ground b: Violation of due process in general
    518

    Public policy: The court discusses the meaning of (international as compared to domestic) public policy, generally defined as the basic notions of morality and justice of the enforcement State.

    Paragraph 2 - Distinction domestic-international public policy
    524

    Public policy: The court discusses the effect of other alleged violations of public policy on the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award, such as contradictory reasons, manifest disregard of the law (US), etc.

    Other cases
    SWITZERLAND 44

    Switzerland 44. Bundesgericht, 14 February 2011

    501

    The court discusses questions relating to the general approach taken by the Convention to the grounds for refusal of recognition and enforcement, including its pro-enforcement bias, as well as the system of the Convention, under which recognition and enforcement may only be denied on seven listed grounds and the petitioner has only the obligations set out in Art. IV.

    Grounds are exhaustive
    512 Ground c: Excess by arbitrator of his authority - Excess of authority
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 43

    Switzerland 43. Bundesgericht, 25 October 2010

    220

    The court discusses how to interpret the Convention’s requirement that the agreement is not null and void etc., as well as specific cases of invalidity: e.g., lack of consent (misrepresentation, duress, or fraud), vague wording of the arbitral clause; other terms of the contract contradict the intention to arbitrate, etc.

    "Null and void", etc.
    221

    The court discusses which law – lex fori, lex contractus, law of the State where the award will be made – applies specifically to determining whether an agreement to arbitrate is “null and void etc.“, and, by extension, which law applies to determining the validity of arbitration agreements.

    Law applicable to "Null and void", etc. (for formal validity and applicable law, see Art. II, ¶204)
    SWITZERLAND 42

    Switzerland 42. Bundesgericht, 4 October 2010

    303

    The court discusses the conditions under which a party may be estopped from raising a ground for refusal of enforcement under the Convention or has waived the right to raise it.

    Estoppel/waiver
    402

    The court discusses how to determine whether the document supplied is an award capable of being recognized and enforced, including whether the award is duly authenticated, and whether a copy is duly certified; whether a prior interim and/or partial award should be supplied together with the final award.

    Original or copy arbitral award
    405

    The court discusses issues relating to the moment when the documents that are required for seeking recognition and enforcement must be supplied, and whether any defect can be cured later in the enforcement proceeding.

    "At the time of application"
    511

    Due process: The court discusses various irregularities affecting due process, including letters not sent, names of arbitrators or experts not communicated, language of proceedings and communications, etc.

    "Otherwise unable to present his case"
    513 Ground d: Irregularity in the composition of the arbitral tribunal or arbitral procedure
    518

    Public policy: The court discusses the meaning of (international as compared to domestic) public policy, generally defined as the basic notions of morality and justice of the enforcement State.

    Paragraph 2 - Distinction domestic-international public policy
    524

    Public policy: The court discusses the effect of other alleged violations of public policy on the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award, such as contradictory reasons, manifest disregard of the law (US), etc.

    Other cases
    SWITZERLAND 41

    Switzerland 41. Tribunal Fédéral, 28 July 2010

    303

    The court discusses the conditions under which a party may be estopped from raising a ground for refusal of enforcement under the Convention or has waived the right to raise it.

    Estoppel/waiver
    513 Ground d: Irregularity in the composition of the arbitral tribunal or arbitral procedure
    518

    Public policy: The court discusses the meaning of (international as compared to domestic) public policy, generally defined as the basic notions of morality and justice of the enforcement State.

    Paragraph 2 - Distinction domestic-international public policy
    521

    Public policy: The court discusses the consequences of the apparent or actual bias of an arbitrator on the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award.

    Lack of impartiality of arbitrator
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 40

    Switzerland 40. Tribunal Fédéral, First Civil Chamber, 9 December 2008

    501

    The court discusses questions relating to the general approach taken by the Convention to the grounds for refusal of recognition and enforcement, including its pro-enforcement bias, as well as the system of the Convention, under which recognition and enforcement may only be denied on seven listed grounds and the petitioner has only the obligations set out in Art. IV.

    Grounds are exhaustive
    503

    The court discusses the burden of proof of the grounds for refusing enforcement under the Convention.

    Burden of proof on respondent
    514 Ground e: Award not binding, suspended or set aside - "Binding"
    517

    Award not binding, suspended or set aside: The court discusses the meaning of an award having been “suspended” in the country of origin, including when the award has been suspended by operation of law rather than by a court decision.

    "Suspended"
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 39

    Switzerland 39. Tribunal Fédéral, Second Civil Chamber, 21 February 2005 and 3 January 2006

    303

    The court discusses the conditions under which a party may be estopped from raising a ground for refusal of enforcement under the Convention or has waived the right to raise it.

    Estoppel/waiver
    304

    The court discusses the admissibility of a set off or counterclaim in enforcement proceedings under the Convention.

    Set-off/counterclaim
    509

    Due process: The court discusses what constitutes “proper notice” of the appointment of the arbitrators or of the arbitration proceedings.

    "Proper notice"
    514 Ground e: Award not binding, suspended or set aside - "Binding"
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 38

    Switzerland 38. Tribunal Fédéral, 8 December 2003

    405

    The court discusses issues relating to the moment when the documents that are required for seeking recognition and enforcement must be supplied, and whether any defect can be cured later in the enforcement proceeding.

    "At the time of application"
    503

    The court discusses the burden of proof of the grounds for refusing enforcement under the Convention.

    Burden of proof on respondent
    514 Ground e: Award not binding, suspended or set aside - "Binding"
    518

    Public policy: The court discusses the meaning of (international as compared to domestic) public policy, generally defined as the basic notions of morality and justice of the enforcement State.

    Paragraph 2 - Distinction domestic-international public policy
    524

    Public policy: The court discusses the effect of other alleged violations of public policy on the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award, such as contradictory reasons, manifest disregard of the law (US), etc.

    Other cases
    SWITZERLAND 37

    Switzerland 37. Bezirksgericht, Zurich, 14 February 2003 and Obergericht, Zurich, 17 July 2003

    106

    The court discusses issues relating to the identity of the party against whom enforcement of the arbitral award is sought, including: piercing of the corporate veil, succession, assignment, State or State entity, group of companies, agent or principal, etc. For the related defenses to enforcement, see Art. V(1)(a).

    Problems concerning the identity of a party
    301

    The court discusses the principle that the procedure for the enforcement of awards under the Convention is governed by the lex fori, as well as procedural issues (such as the competent enforcement court) not falling under the specific cases of ¶¶ 302-307.

    Procedure for enforcement in general
    402

    The court discusses how to determine whether the document supplied is an award capable of being recognized and enforced, including whether the award is duly authenticated, and whether a copy is duly certified; whether a prior interim and/or partial award should be supplied together with the final award.

    Original or copy arbitral award
    403

    The court discusses issues relating to the requirement to supply the original arbitration agreement or a copy thereof to prove the prima facie validity of the arbitration agreement, as well as the application of more favorable municipal laws that do not provide for this requirement.

    Original or copy arbitration agreement
    404

    The court discusses issues relating to the manner of authentication and certification of the award and/or arbitration agreement.

    Authentication and certification
    406

    The court discusses issues relating to the requirements of the translation (translation by sworn translator, translation of entire award etc.) and whether a translation is necessary.

    Translation (paragraph 2)
    501

    The court discusses questions relating to the general approach taken by the Convention to the grounds for refusal of recognition and enforcement, including its pro-enforcement bias, as well as the system of the Convention, under which recognition and enforcement may only be denied on seven listed grounds and the petitioner has only the obligations set out in Art. IV.

    Grounds are exhaustive
    503

    The court discusses the burden of proof of the grounds for refusing enforcement under the Convention.

    Burden of proof on respondent
    508 Ground b: Violation of due process in general
    509

    Due process: The court discusses what constitutes “proper notice” of the appointment of the arbitrators or of the arbitration proceedings.

    "Proper notice"
    511

    Due process: The court discusses various irregularities affecting due process, including letters not sent, names of arbitrators or experts not communicated, language of proceedings and communications, etc.

    "Otherwise unable to present his case"
    512 Ground c: Excess by arbitrator of his authority - Excess of authority
    514 Ground e: Award not binding, suspended or set aside - "Binding"
    519

    Public policy: The court discusses cases in which the subject matter of the award was not arbitrable in the enforcement State on public policy grounds.

    Ground a: Arbitrability
    523

    Public policy: The court discusses alleged violations of a fundamental rule of due process in the arbitration on the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award, including the failure to communicate the names of the arbitrators, the failure to send copies of reports or letters filed in the arbitration, etc.

    Irregularities in the arbitral procedure (see also Art. V(1)(b))
    703(A) Multilateral treaties
    704(B) Bilateral Treaties
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 34

    Switzerland 34. Bundesgericht, 31 May 2002

    401

    The court discusses the general conditions the Convention imposes on a petitioner for seeking recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award – namely, the submission of the original arbitration agreement or arbitral award or a certified copy thereof – and examines in general whether these conditions were complied in the case at issue.

    Conditions to be fulfilled by petitioner in general
    503

    The court discusses the burden of proof of the grounds for refusing enforcement under the Convention.

    Burden of proof on respondent
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 36

    Switzerland 36. Tribunal Fédéral, 14 May 2001

    217

    The court discusses the meaning and effect of the referral of the resolution of disputes to arbitration, including: who can ask for referral and when, whether a party has waived its right to request arbitration, the defense that there was no contract at all; whether there was a condition precedent to the commencement of arbitration (e.g. mediation), stay of proceedings v. compelling arbitration, and national procedural specificities such as remand and removal (US), effect of class action. etc.

    Referral to arbitration in general
    220

    The court discusses how to interpret the Convention’s requirement that the agreement is not null and void etc., as well as specific cases of invalidity: e.g., lack of consent (misrepresentation, duress, or fraud), vague wording of the arbitral clause; other terms of the contract contradict the intention to arbitrate, etc.

    "Null and void", etc.
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 33

    Switzerland 33. Cour de Justice, Canton Geneva, 15 April 1999

    101

    The court discusses the determination and relevance of the place where the award was made (in a foreign State or another contracting State.

    Award made in the territory of another (Contracting) State (paragraphs 1 and 3 - first or "reciprocity" reservation)
    301

    The court discusses the principle that the procedure for the enforcement of awards under the Convention is governed by the lex fori, as well as procedural issues (such as the competent enforcement court) not falling under the specific cases of ¶¶ 302-307.

    Procedure for enforcement in general
    401

    The court discusses the general conditions the Convention imposes on a petitioner for seeking recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award – namely, the submission of the original arbitration agreement or arbitral award or a certified copy thereof – and examines in general whether these conditions were complied in the case at issue.

    Conditions to be fulfilled by petitioner in general
    404

    The court discusses issues relating to the manner of authentication and certification of the award and/or arbitration agreement.

    Authentication and certification
    406

    The court discusses issues relating to the requirements of the translation (translation by sworn translator, translation of entire award etc.) and whether a translation is necessary.

    Translation (paragraph 2)
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 35

    Switzerland 35. Obergericht, Zug, 27 February 1998

    404

    The court discusses issues relating to the manner of authentication and certification of the award and/or arbitration agreement.

    Authentication and certification
    406

    The court discusses issues relating to the requirements of the translation (translation by sworn translator, translation of entire award etc.) and whether a translation is necessary.

    Translation (paragraph 2)
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 32

    Switzerland 32. Bundesgerichtshof, 19 December 1997

    214-216 Field of application
    219

    The court discusses how to determine that there is a dispute as a condition for referral to arbitration.

    There must be a dispute
    227

    Multi-party disputes: The court discusses whether related court proceedings may absorb (by vis atractiva) arbitration proceedings.

    Concurrent court proceedings ("indivisibility")
    SWITZERLAND 31

    Switzerland 31. Cour de Justice, Canton Geneva, 11 December 1997

    203-204 Formal validity, uniform law and municipal law
    403

    The court discusses issues relating to the requirement to supply the original arbitration agreement or a copy thereof to prove the prima facie validity of the arbitration agreement, as well as the application of more favorable municipal laws that do not provide for this requirement.

    Original or copy arbitration agreement
    518

    Public policy: The court discusses the meaning of (international as compared to domestic) public policy, generally defined as the basic notions of morality and justice of the enforcement State.

    Paragraph 2 - Distinction domestic-international public policy
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 29

    Switzerland 29. Tribunal Fédéral, 21 March 1995

    201

    The court discusses whether the dispute falls within the wording of the arbitration agreement; and whether claims in tort fall within the scope of the agreement.

    Scope of arbitration agreement
    203-204 Formal validity, uniform law and municipal law
    213

    The court discusses the status of an arbitration agreement in a contract that was amended or renewed.

    Amendment or renewal
    214-216 Field of application
    221

    The court discusses which law – lex fori, lex contractus, law of the State where the award will be made – applies specifically to determining whether an agreement to arbitrate is “null and void etc.“, and, by extension, which law applies to determining the validity of arbitration agreements.

    Law applicable to "Null and void", etc. (for formal validity and applicable law, see Art. II, ¶204)
    222

    The court discusses the principle of competence-competence, including whether the parties “intended to have arbitrability decided by an arbitrator”, and the separability of the arbitration agreement from the main contract.

    Arbitrator's competence and separability of the arbitration clause
    506

    Invalidity of the arbitration agreement: The court discusses the law applicable to the validity of the arbitration agreement at the enforcement stage.

    Law applicable to the arbitration agreement
    704(C) Art. VII(1): European Union (Treaties and Legislation)
    SWITZERLAND 27

    Switzerland 27. Tribunal Fédéral, 16 January 1995

    203-204 Formal validity, uniform law and municipal law
    205

    The court discusses the first alternative requirement of Art. II(2) that the arbitral award is “signed by the parties”.

    Signatures
    209 Incorporation by reference and standard conditions
    214-216 Field of application
    222

    The court discusses the principle of competence-competence, including whether the parties “intended to have arbitrability decided by an arbitrator”, and the separability of the arbitration agreement from the main contract.

    Arbitrator's competence and separability of the arbitration clause
    SWITZERLAND 28

    Switzerland 28. Tribunal Fédéral, 9 January 1995

    106

    The court discusses issues relating to the identity of the party against whom enforcement of the arbitral award is sought, including: piercing of the corporate veil, succession, assignment, State or State entity, group of companies, agent or principal, etc. For the related defenses to enforcement, see Art. V(1)(a).

    Problems concerning the identity of a party
    301

    The court discusses the principle that the procedure for the enforcement of awards under the Convention is governed by the lex fori, as well as procedural issues (such as the competent enforcement court) not falling under the specific cases of ¶¶ 302-307.

    Procedure for enforcement in general
    307

    The court discusses questions relating to interest on the amount due under the arbitral award, including whether the enforcement court may grant interest not granted in the award, modify interest granted in the award, and grant post-award interest.

    Interest on award
    403

    The court discusses issues relating to the requirement to supply the original arbitration agreement or a copy thereof to prove the prima facie validity of the arbitration agreement, as well as the application of more favorable municipal laws that do not provide for this requirement.

    Original or copy arbitration agreement
    406

    The court discusses issues relating to the requirements of the translation (translation by sworn translator, translation of entire award etc.) and whether a translation is necessary.

    Translation (paragraph 2)
    502

    The court discusses the principle that the merits of the award may not be reviewed and that the court may only carry out a limited review of the award to ascertain grounds for refusal.

    No re-examination of the merits of the arbitral award
    505 Incapacity of party
    514 Ground e: Award not binding, suspended or set aside - "Binding"
    517

    Award not binding, suspended or set aside: The court discusses the meaning of an award having been “suspended” in the country of origin, including when the award has been suspended by operation of law rather than by a court decision.

    "Suspended"
    518

    Public policy: The court discusses the meaning of (international as compared to domestic) public policy, generally defined as the basic notions of morality and justice of the enforcement State.

    Paragraph 2 - Distinction domestic-international public policy
    524

    Public policy: The court discusses the effect of other alleged violations of public policy on the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award, such as contradictory reasons, manifest disregard of the law (US), etc.

    Other cases
    601

    The court discusses the conditions for granting adjournment of a proceeding relating to the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award, and the court’s discretionary power to do so, as well the determination of “suitable security” and the power to request it.

    Adjournment of decision on enforcement
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 26

    Switzerland 26. Obergericht, Basel-Land, 5 July 1994

    203-204 Formal validity, uniform law and municipal law
    206

    The court discusses the second alternative requirement of Art. II(2) that the arbitration agreement is “contained in an exchange of letters or telegrams”.

    Exchange of letters or telegrams
    207

    The court discusses what more recent means of communication are also covered by the “exchange of letters or telegrams” alternative: telefax, email, e-commerce, etc.

    Means of communication for achieving the exchange in writing
    209 Incorporation by reference and standard conditions
    SWITZERLAND 30

    Switzerland 30. Bezirksgericht, Affoltern am Albis, 26 May 1994

    001

    The court discusses general questions relating to the interpretation of the Convention as an international treaty, also in respect of the methods of interpretation laid down in the 1969 Vienna Convention; the relationship between the New York Convention and the UNCITRAL Model Law and Recommendation 2006. 

    Interpretation of the Convention
    101

    The court discusses the determination and relevance of the place where the award was made (in a foreign State or another contracting State.

    Award made in the territory of another (Contracting) State (paragraphs 1 and 3 - first or "reciprocity" reservation)
    222

    The court discusses the principle of competence-competence, including whether the parties “intended to have arbitrability decided by an arbitrator”, and the separability of the arbitration agreement from the main contract.

    Arbitrator's competence and separability of the arbitration clause
    504 Paragraph 1 - Ground a: Invalidity of the arbitration agreement - Agreement referred to in Art. II
    506

    Invalidity of the arbitration agreement: The court discusses the law applicable to the validity of the arbitration agreement at the enforcement stage.

    Law applicable to the arbitration agreement
    518

    Public policy: The court discusses the meaning of (international as compared to domestic) public policy, generally defined as the basic notions of morality and justice of the enforcement State.

    Paragraph 2 - Distinction domestic-international public policy
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 25

    Switzerland 25. Tribunal Cantonal, Vaud, 30 March 1993

    202

    The court discusses the form in which the arbitration agreement is expressed: short form arbitration clause, reference to rules of institution, etc.

    Contents of arbitration agreement
    220

    The court discusses how to interpret the Convention’s requirement that the agreement is not null and void etc., as well as specific cases of invalidity: e.g., lack of consent (misrepresentation, duress, or fraud), vague wording of the arbitral clause; other terms of the contract contradict the intention to arbitrate, etc.

    "Null and void", etc.
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 24

    Switzerland 24. Tribunal Fédéral, 23 June 1992

    220

    The court discusses how to interpret the Convention’s requirement that the agreement is not null and void etc., as well as specific cases of invalidity: e.g., lack of consent (misrepresentation, duress, or fraud), vague wording of the arbitral clause; other terms of the contract contradict the intention to arbitrate, etc.

    "Null and void", etc.
    223

    The court discusses whether a certain dispute could be settled by arbitration, and the law applicable to that determination.

    Arbitrability (see also Art. V(2) sub ground a. "arbitrability", ¶519)
    519

    Public policy: The court discusses cases in which the subject matter of the award was not arbitrable in the enforcement State on public policy grounds.

    Ground a: Arbitrability
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 23

    Switzerland 23. Camera di Esecuzione e Fallimenti, Canton Tessin, 19 June 1990

    101

    The court discusses the determination and relevance of the place where the award was made (in a foreign State or another contracting State.

    Award made in the territory of another (Contracting) State (paragraphs 1 and 3 - first or "reciprocity" reservation)
    102

    The court discusses which awards are considered non-domestic even if rendered in the State of enforcement (international element, lex mercatoria).

    Arbitral award not considered as domestic (paragraph 1)
    518

    Public policy: The court discusses the meaning of (international as compared to domestic) public policy, generally defined as the basic notions of morality and justice of the enforcement State.

    Paragraph 2 - Distinction domestic-international public policy
    521

    Public policy: The court discusses the consequences of the apparent or actual bias of an arbitrator on the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award.

    Lack of impartiality of arbitrator
    523

    Public policy: The court discusses alleged violations of a fundamental rule of due process in the arbitration on the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award, including the failure to communicate the names of the arbitrators, the failure to send copies of reports or letters filed in the arbitration, etc.

    Irregularities in the arbitral procedure (see also Art. V(1)(b))
    SWITZERLAND 21

    Switzerland 21. Handelsgericht, Zurich, 20 April 1990

    405

    The court discusses issues relating to the moment when the documents that are required for seeking recognition and enforcement must be supplied, and whether any defect can be cured later in the enforcement proceeding.

    "At the time of application"
    704(B) Bilateral Treaties
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 22

    Switzerland 22. Handelsgericht, Zurich, 14 December 1989

    206

    The court discusses the second alternative requirement of Art. II(2) that the arbitration agreement is “contained in an exchange of letters or telegrams”.

    Exchange of letters or telegrams
    209 Incorporation by reference and standard conditions
    214-216 Field of application
    SWITZERLAND 20

    Switzerland 20. Appellationsgericht, Basel-Stadt, 27 February 1989

    101

    The court discusses the determination and relevance of the place where the award was made (in a foreign State or another contracting State.

    Award made in the territory of another (Contracting) State (paragraphs 1 and 3 - first or "reciprocity" reservation)
    203-204 Formal validity, uniform law and municipal law
    209 Incorporation by reference and standard conditions
    301

    The court discusses the principle that the procedure for the enforcement of awards under the Convention is governed by the lex fori, as well as procedural issues (such as the competent enforcement court) not falling under the specific cases of ¶¶ 302-307.

    Procedure for enforcement in general
    509

    Due process: The court discusses what constitutes “proper notice” of the appointment of the arbitrators or of the arbitration proceedings.

    "Proper notice"
    SWITZERLAND 18

    Switzerland 18. Tribunal Fédéral, 12 January 1989

    206

    The court discusses the second alternative requirement of Art. II(2) that the arbitration agreement is “contained in an exchange of letters or telegrams”.

    Exchange of letters or telegrams
    207

    The court discusses what more recent means of communication are also covered by the “exchange of letters or telegrams” alternative: telefax, email, e-commerce, etc.

    Means of communication for achieving the exchange in writing
    209 Incorporation by reference and standard conditions
    212

    The court discusses issues specific to an arbitration agreement concluded through an agent or broker, e.g., whether the authorization to conclude it must also be in writing.

    Agent/broker, etc.
    502

    The court discusses the principle that the merits of the award may not be reviewed and that the court may only carry out a limited review of the award to ascertain grounds for refusal.

    No re-examination of the merits of the arbitral award
    509

    Due process: The court discusses what constitutes “proper notice” of the appointment of the arbitrators or of the arbitration proceedings.

    "Proper notice"
    521

    Public policy: The court discusses the consequences of the apparent or actual bias of an arbitrator on the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award.

    Lack of impartiality of arbitrator
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 19

    Switzerland 19. Cour de Justice, Canton Geneva, 16 December 1988

    209 Incorporation by reference and standard conditions
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 16

    Switzerland 16. Tribunal de Première Instance, 21 May 1987

    101

    The court discusses the determination and relevance of the place where the award was made (in a foreign State or another contracting State.

    Award made in the territory of another (Contracting) State (paragraphs 1 and 3 - first or "reciprocity" reservation)
    301

    The court discusses the principle that the procedure for the enforcement of awards under the Convention is governed by the lex fori, as well as procedural issues (such as the competent enforcement court) not falling under the specific cases of ¶¶ 302-307.

    Procedure for enforcement in general
    401

    The court discusses the general conditions the Convention imposes on a petitioner for seeking recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award – namely, the submission of the original arbitration agreement or arbitral award or a certified copy thereof – and examines in general whether these conditions were complied in the case at issue.

    Conditions to be fulfilled by petitioner in general
    524

    Public policy: The court discusses the effect of other alleged violations of public policy on the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award, such as contradictory reasons, manifest disregard of the law (US), etc.

    Other cases
    SWITZERLAND 17

    Switzerland 17. Tribunal Fédéral, 26 January 1987

    224

    The court discusses whether a declaratory judgment on the validity of the arbitration agreement is available under the Convention.

    Declaratory judgment on validity arbitration agreement
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 15

    Switzerland 15. Tribunal de Première Instance, Canton Geneva, 13 March 1986

    101

    The court discusses the determination and relevance of the place where the award was made (in a foreign State or another contracting State.

    Award made in the territory of another (Contracting) State (paragraphs 1 and 3 - first or "reciprocity" reservation)
    105

    The court discusses issues relating to the quality of the parties, as physical or legal persons against whom enforcement of an arbitral award is sought, including the incapacity of a State to enter into an arbitration agreement, and questions relating to sovereign immunity. For the related defenses to enforcement, see Art. V(1)(a).

    "Persons, whether physical or legal" (paragraph 1) (including sovereign immunity)
    228

    Related court proceedings: The court discusses whether provisional measures, such as the pre-award attachment of assets, are compatible with the Convention.

    Pre-award attachment and other provisional measures
    505 Incapacity of party
    513 Ground d: Irregularity in the composition of the arbitral tribunal or arbitral procedure
    514 Ground e: Award not binding, suspended or set aside - "Binding"
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 14

    Switzerland 14. Tribunal Fédéral, Second Civil Court, 5 November 1985

    203-204 Formal validity, uniform law and municipal law
    206

    The court discusses the second alternative requirement of Art. II(2) that the arbitration agreement is “contained in an exchange of letters or telegrams”.

    Exchange of letters or telegrams
    207

    The court discusses what more recent means of communication are also covered by the “exchange of letters or telegrams” alternative: telefax, email, e-commerce, etc.

    Means of communication for achieving the exchange in writing
    701

    More-favorable right provision: The court discusses issues relating to the more-favorable right provision in general, including who may invoke it, and when.

    More-favourable-right provision in general
    SWITZERLAND 12

    Switzerland 12. Tribunal de Première Instance, Geneva, 25 April 1985 and Cour de Justice, Geneva, 10 October 1985

    301

    The court discusses the principle that the procedure for the enforcement of awards under the Convention is governed by the lex fori, as well as procedural issues (such as the competent enforcement court) not falling under the specific cases of ¶¶ 302-307.

    Procedure for enforcement in general
    516

    Award not binding, suspended or set aside: The court discusses the difference between the exclusive jurisdiction to set aside an award (primary jurisdiction), which belongs to the courts of the country of origin of the award, and the jurisdiction of all other courts to recognize and enforce the award (secondary jurisdiction); issues relating to the determination of the “competent authority”; and whether an award that has been set aside in the country of origin can be enforced in another State under the Convention.

    "Set aside"
    517

    Award not binding, suspended or set aside: The court discusses the meaning of an award having been “suspended” in the country of origin, including when the award has been suspended by operation of law rather than by a court decision.

    "Suspended"
    SWITZERLAND 13

    Switzerland 13. Tribunal Fédéral, First Civil Court, 22 May 1985

    202

    The court discusses the form in which the arbitration agreement is expressed: short form arbitration clause, reference to rules of institution, etc.

    Contents of arbitration agreement
    214-216 Field of application
    217

    The court discusses the meaning and effect of the referral of the resolution of disputes to arbitration, including: who can ask for referral and when, whether a party has waived its right to request arbitration, the defense that there was no contract at all; whether there was a condition precedent to the commencement of arbitration (e.g. mediation), stay of proceedings v. compelling arbitration, and national procedural specificities such as remand and removal (US), effect of class action. etc.

    Referral to arbitration in general
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 9

    Switzerland 9. Tribunal Fédéral, 14 March 1984

    103

    The court discusses the impact of the nationality of the parties on the application of the Convention. 

    Nationality of the parties no criterion
    503

    The court discusses the burden of proof of the grounds for refusing enforcement under the Convention.

    Burden of proof on respondent
    514 Ground e: Award not binding, suspended or set aside - "Binding"
    704(B) Bilateral Treaties
    SWITZERLAND 8

    Switzerland 8. Tribunal Fédéral, 7 February 1984

    203-204 Formal validity, uniform law and municipal law
    205

    The court discusses the first alternative requirement of Art. II(2) that the arbitral award is “signed by the parties”.

    Signatures
    209 Incorporation by reference and standard conditions
    211

    The court discusses issues specific to bills of lading and charterparties, such as whether the subsequent holder of the bill of lading is bound by the arbitration agreement therein and whether the arbitration clause in the charterparty is incorporated into the bill of lading.

    Bill of lading and charter party
    214-216 Field of application
    705

    The court discusses the relationship between the New York Convention, the Geneva Protocol on Arbitration Clauses of 1923, and the Geneva Convention on the Execution of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 1927.

    Relationship with Geneva Treaties of 1923 and 1927
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 11

    Switzerland 11. Cour de Justice, Canton Geneva, 14 April 1983

    101

    The court discusses the determination and relevance of the place where the award was made (in a foreign State or another contracting State.

    Award made in the territory of another (Contracting) State (paragraphs 1 and 3 - first or "reciprocity" reservation)
    103

    The court discusses the impact of the nationality of the parties on the application of the Convention. 

    Nationality of the parties no criterion
    207

    The court discusses what more recent means of communication are also covered by the “exchange of letters or telegrams” alternative: telefax, email, e-commerce, etc.

    Means of communication for achieving the exchange in writing
    222

    The court discusses the principle of competence-competence, including whether the parties “intended to have arbitrability decided by an arbitrator”, and the separability of the arbitration agreement from the main contract.

    Arbitrator's competence and separability of the arbitration clause
    403

    The court discusses issues relating to the requirement to supply the original arbitration agreement or a copy thereof to prove the prima facie validity of the arbitration agreement, as well as the application of more favorable municipal laws that do not provide for this requirement.

    Original or copy arbitration agreement
    507

    Invalidity of the arbitration agreement: The court discusses other cases of invalidity of the arbitration agreement, including that there was no agreement at all or that the party was not a signatory thereto, that the incorrect arbitral institution was chosen, etc.

    Miscellaneous cases regarding the arbitration agreement
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 7

    Switzerland 7. Tribunal Fédéral, 26 February 1982

    101

    The court discusses the determination and relevance of the place where the award was made (in a foreign State or another contracting State.

    Award made in the territory of another (Contracting) State (paragraphs 1 and 3 - first or "reciprocity" reservation)
    109

    The court discusses whether an “a-national” award falls under the Convention. 

    Arbitral award: "a-national" award
    503

    The court discusses the burden of proof of the grounds for refusing enforcement under the Convention.

    Burden of proof on respondent
    513 Ground d: Irregularity in the composition of the arbitral tribunal or arbitral procedure
    514 Ground e: Award not binding, suspended or set aside - "Binding"
    523

    Public policy: The court discusses alleged violations of a fundamental rule of due process in the arbitration on the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award, including the failure to communicate the names of the arbitrators, the failure to send copies of reports or letters filed in the arbitration, etc.

    Irregularities in the arbitral procedure (see also Art. V(1)(b))
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 10

    Switzerland 10. Tribunal Fédéral, 8 February 1978

    303

    The court discusses the conditions under which a party may be estopped from raising a ground for refusal of enforcement under the Convention or has waived the right to raise it.

    Estoppel/waiver
    503

    The court discusses the burden of proof of the grounds for refusing enforcement under the Convention.

    Burden of proof on respondent
    511

    Due process: The court discusses various irregularities affecting due process, including letters not sent, names of arbitrators or experts not communicated, language of proceedings and communications, etc.

    "Otherwise unable to present his case"
    513 Ground d: Irregularity in the composition of the arbitral tribunal or arbitral procedure
    518

    Public policy: The court discusses the meaning of (international as compared to domestic) public policy, generally defined as the basic notions of morality and justice of the enforcement State.

    Paragraph 2 - Distinction domestic-international public policy
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 6

    Switzerland 6. Cour de Justice, First Section, Canton Geneva, 17 September 1976

    401

    The court discusses the general conditions the Convention imposes on a petitioner for seeking recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award – namely, the submission of the original arbitration agreement or arbitral award or a certified copy thereof – and examines in general whether these conditions were complied in the case at issue.

    Conditions to be fulfilled by petitioner in general
    406

    The court discusses issues relating to the requirements of the translation (translation by sworn translator, translation of entire award etc.) and whether a translation is necessary.

    Translation (paragraph 2)
    516

    Award not binding, suspended or set aside: The court discusses the difference between the exclusive jurisdiction to set aside an award (primary jurisdiction), which belongs to the courts of the country of origin of the award, and the jurisdiction of all other courts to recognize and enforce the award (secondary jurisdiction); issues relating to the determination of the “competent authority”; and whether an award that has been set aside in the country of origin can be enforced in another State under the Convention.

    "Set aside"
    518

    Public policy: The court discusses the meaning of (international as compared to domestic) public policy, generally defined as the basic notions of morality and justice of the enforcement State.

    Paragraph 2 - Distinction domestic-international public policy
    523

    Public policy: The court discusses alleged violations of a fundamental rule of due process in the arbitration on the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award, including the failure to communicate the names of the arbitrators, the failure to send copies of reports or letters filed in the arbitration, etc.

    Irregularities in the arbitral procedure (see also Art. V(1)(b))
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 5

    Switzerland 5. Obergericht, Basel, 3 June 1971

    112

    The court discusses whether the Convention may be applied retroactively and, if so, as of when: e.g., with the conclusion of the arbitration agreement, the commencement of arbitration, the rendition of the award.

    Retroactivity
    205

    The court discusses the first alternative requirement of Art. II(2) that the arbitral award is “signed by the parties”.

    Signatures
    401

    The court discusses the general conditions the Convention imposes on a petitioner for seeking recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award – namely, the submission of the original arbitration agreement or arbitral award or a certified copy thereof – and examines in general whether these conditions were complied in the case at issue.

    Conditions to be fulfilled by petitioner in general
    404

    The court discusses issues relating to the manner of authentication and certification of the award and/or arbitration agreement.

    Authentication and certification
    510

    Due process: The court discusses what are to be considered proper time limits and notice periods that fulfill the requirement that the party opposing recognition and enforcement of the arbitral award was extended due process.

    Time limits and notice periods
    518

    Public policy: The court discusses the meaning of (international as compared to domestic) public policy, generally defined as the basic notions of morality and justice of the enforcement State.

    Paragraph 2 - Distinction domestic-international public policy
    520

    Public policy:The court discusses the consequences of the default of a party in the arbitration on the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award against it.

    Ground b: Public policy - Default of party
    521

    Public policy: The court discusses the consequences of the apparent or actual bias of an arbitrator on the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award.

    Lack of impartiality of arbitrator
    523

    Public policy: The court discusses alleged violations of a fundamental rule of due process in the arbitration on the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award, including the failure to communicate the names of the arbitrators, the failure to send copies of reports or letters filed in the arbitration, etc.

    Irregularities in the arbitral procedure (see also Art. V(1)(b))
    524

    Public policy: The court discusses the effect of other alleged violations of public policy on the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award, such as contradictory reasons, manifest disregard of the law (US), etc.

    Other cases
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 4

    Switzerland 4. Appellationsgericht, Canton Baselstadt, 6 September 1968

    513 Ground d: Irregularity in the composition of the arbitral tribunal or arbitral procedure
  • Excerpt Topics
    SWITZERLAND 1

    Switzerland 1. Tribunal, Canton Geneva, Sixth Chamber, 6 June 1967

    205

    The court discusses the first alternative requirement of Art. II(2) that the arbitral award is “signed by the parties”.

    Signatures
    208

    The court discusses arbitration agreements contained in a sales and purchase confirmation and whether a tacit acceptance thereof is sufficient.

    Sales or purchase confirmation
    SWITZERLAND 2

    Switzerland 2. Cour de Justice Civile, Canton Geneva, 12 May 1967

    112

    The court discusses whether the Convention may be applied retroactively and, if so, as of when: e.g., with the conclusion of the arbitration agreement, the commencement of arbitration, the rendition of the award.

    Retroactivity
    SWITZERLAND 3

    Switzerland 3. Tribunal Fédéral, 3 May 1967

    111

    The court discusses the application of the Convention to awards rendered by permanent arbitral bodies (as opposed to ad hoc awards).

    Permanent arbitral bodies (paragraph 2)
    521

    Public policy: The court discusses the consequences of the apparent or actual bias of an arbitrator on the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award.

    Lack of impartiality of arbitrator