For more than a hundred years, Switzerland has been one of the preferred venues for hosting international arbitrations, whether in ad hoc proceedings or in proceedings administered under the rules of the leading arbitration institutions. Since 2000, Swiss cities have invariably been ranked first or second among the chosen venues for ICC arbitration proceedings worldwide.
Switzerland is a politically neutral country and hosts many international organizations or dispute settlement institutions, such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC), the International Air Transport Association, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS/TAS), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and major international sports organizations such as FIFA and UEFA.
Many international contracts referring to arbitration in Switzerland are governed by Swiss substantive law, as a neutral law, easily accessible and intelligible for lawyers or non-lawyers alike. Contract negotiators and drafters from all over the world are attracted by the clearly defined, liberal and predictable legal framework Swiss law provides. It has been tested in thousands of contracts, including in international litigation and arbitration proceedings.
Switzerland's international arbitration law (Chapter 12 of the 1987 Federal Private International Law Act) is one of the forerunners of modern arbitration laws worldwide, and has been an inspiration to many jurisdictions. Clear and modern, with its concise 18 Articles, the Act supports an arbitration-friendly and efficient regime which highlights Switzerland's strong support for international arbitration.
Switzerland is a centre of excellence. It is the home of many international arbitration experts and a regular meeting point for the world's leading arbitration practitioners.
While many arbitrations are ad hoc, i.e. not governed by a specific set of arbitration rules, parties frequently choose specific arbitration rules of a specialized institution. The most frequently used arbitration rules are:
Switzerland is one of the preferred countries for international arbitrations. A number of reasons may account for this success: Political neutrality, a well-developed legal system,geographically convenient location, excellent infrastructure, but above all, openness of mind to the different values, cultures and perceptions of foreign parties coming to arbitrate in Switzerland. Switzerland is arbitration-friendly.
Statistical analysis of challenges to Swiss awards confirms arbitration-friendly and efficient approach by the Swiss judiciary.
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Chapter 12 of the Private International Law Act 1987:
Part 3 of the Civil Procedure Code 2008:
Provides English translations of 140 Federal Supreme Court decisions dealing with international arbitration, searchable and downloadable freely: swissarbitrationdecisions.com