Login Find Counsel / Arbitrator / Expert

Challenges of Swiss arbitral awards – Selected statistical data as of 2013

27.04.2014 - Updated research undertaken by Prof. Felix Dasser and his team corroborates the arbitration-friendly stance and efficient decision-making by the Swiss Federal Tribunal. It also highlights repeated challenges to sports arbitration awards.

International arbitral awards rendered in Switzerland can be challenged before the Swiss Federal Tribunal (Supreme Court) as sole instance if the parties have not validly opted out of the setting aside procedure. Statistical analyses of the pertinent decisions rendered since 1989 were undertaken by Prof. Felix Dasser and his team and published in the ASA Bulletins 2007 and 2010, respectively.

Selected charts have been updated as of end of 2013. On the one hand, they corroborate the arbitration-friendly stance and efficient decision-making by the Federal Tribunal, on the other hand they bear witness to a new phenomenon: repeated challenges of sport arbitration awards, in particular of awards rendered by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The number of cases per year has jumped by a third or more to approx. 35, mainly due to CAS awards.

The average chance of success stands at approx. 7.5%, slightly higher than at the last analysis as of 2009, when it stood at 6.5%. However, for commercial cases, the success rate remains almost flat at 6.88%, while sports cases yield 9.52%. Thus, the last five years yielded five successful challenges of commercial arbitration awards, but seven of sport awards.

Concerning the grounds for setting aside, the last five years saw the first two awards being set aside due to violation of public policy. The chances of a challenge based on this ground remain negligible, though.

Finally, the duration of the proceedings before the Federal Tribunal suggests a new trend. In the past, the trend was towards ever shorter time required between the rendering of an award and the decision of the Federal Tribunal on a challenge, typically around 4 months. Not least due to parties making use of their right to be heard (as defined by the European Court of Human Rights) by filing a reply and rejoinder, respectively, the time needed increased to five to six months (i.e. typically one month for the challenge and four to five months for the subsequent submissions and the rendering of the decision).

In sum, the statistics continue to evidence a very arbitration-friendly and efficient approach by the Swiss judiciary. Arbitral tribunals are kept on a leash, but on an appropriately loose leash.

March 2014, Felix Dasser

See also:

ASA Bulletin Vol. 25, No. 3, 2007, 444-472

ASA Bulletin Vol. 28, No. 1, 2010, 82-100

The ASA Community

06.04.2018 - “ASA’s vision is to continue to project Switzerland as a global centre of arbitration and to project arbitration across the globe.” Elliott Geisinger. more

Global Arbitration Review coverage of the 2018 ASA Annual Conference and ASA Advocacy Prize

04.04.2018 - "The 'activist' and 'remotist' approaches to expert evidence” and "A Swiss prize for an Egyptian practitioner” more

ASA Bulletin and President’s Message

29.03.2018 - The 1st 2018 edition of the ASA Bulletin which includes the 1st president’s message of the year has now been published. more

ASA Geneva Local Group Appoints New Co-Chairs

21.12.2017 - ASA thanks outgoing Geneva Local Group co-chairs for their contributions to ASA and welcomes on board new co-chairs. more

ASA Below 40 Appoints New Co-chair

01.12.2017 - ASA Below 40 thanks outgoing co-chair Melissa Magliana for her contributions to ASA Below 40 and welcomes Olivier Mosimann. more

Displaying 5/44 results (page 1/9)