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Revision of Swiss International Arbitration Act (Chapter 12 PILA) adopted by Parliament

13.09.2019 - ASA is proud to announce that today, 19 June 2020, the Swiss Parliament formally adopted the final text of the revision of Switzerland's International Arbitration Act (Chapter 12 of the Swiss Private International Law Act, PILA).

ASA had actively participated in the revision process at various occasions, including by filing observations on the draft bill and by certain of its members taking active positions in the Committee of Experts and as speakers during hearings in the Law Commission of the National Council.

 

The predominant innovation of the new law is that English becomes an admissible language for the filing of written submissions before the Swiss Federal Supreme Court. ASA President Felix Dasser: "I am very happy that the Swiss Parliament ultimately voted in favour of this key point. This is clearly an important milestone for Switzerland as one of the major places of arbitration in the world. It aims at facilitating the access to the Swiss judiciary for foreign users of Switzerland as an arbitral venue and, thus, helps to further promote arbitration in Switzerland and abroad, in line with ASA's mission."

 

The revision as a whole ensures that Switzerland's International Arbitration Act maintains its position as one of the internationally most regarded arbitration laws of high and innovative quality. It combines party autonomy with the guarantee of a reliable judicial system. These qualities also explain why Chapter 12 PILA is fit to apply to many different types of arbitration such as ad hoc proceedings, institutional arbitration, sports arbitration, investment arbitration, to name only a few. The revision relies on these essential strengths and modernises the provisions of Chapter 12 on a selective basis. In particular, it transposes the case law which the Swiss Federal Supreme Court has developed over the last three decades since the PILA came into force in 1989. The revision also aims at further strengthening the position of Chapter 12 as a "stand-alone" international arbitration act by reducing the references to other laws to a minimum. The revision brings Swiss arbitration law up to date while retaining its conciseness and flexibility. It is currently expected to come into force in early 2021.

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