The Bulletin in Brief

Bulletin in Brief from the ASA Bulletin Vol. 41 (2023) Issue 3

Vol. 41 (2023), Issue 3

In his message The State Giveth and the State Taketh Away, ASA President Felix DASSER, welcomes the increasingly arbitration-friendly stance adopted by China, India and Japan, while cautioning against the recent anti-arbitration trends in the European Union, from which Switzerland should distance itself.

The infamous Devas-Antrix saga opposing a private Indian company and its Mauritian shareholders to the Government of India gave rise to a number of arbitrations as well as annulment and enforcement proceedings around the globe. One of the more recent chapters of this saga is the annulment by the Delhi High Court, in 2022, of an ICC award rendered by a Delhi-seated tribunal in favour of Devas, annulment which was then confirmed first by an appellate bench and then finally by India’s Supreme Court on 6 October 2023. Considering these recent developments, Harshad PATHAK examines the enforceability of annulled awards in other jurisdictions and its implications for the Devas-Antrix saga. (Harshad PATHAK, The Devas-Antrix Saga and the Enforceability of Annulled Awards.)

On 26 May 2021, the French Court of Cassation ruled that the Central Bank of Libya was allowed to make a third-party application to set aside the enforcement decision of an award rendered in Cairo against the State of Libya. The matter was remanded to the Paris Court of Appeal, which found the Central Bank’s standing to be hypothetical and, on that basis, declared the application inadmissible. Florian RENAUX analyses this decision and submits that such a restrictive assessment of a claimant’s standing makes third-party applications against decisions regarding the enforcement of arbitral awards unlikely to succeed. (Florian RENAUX, Tierce opposition à la décision d’exequatur d’une sentence : l’art français de donner d’une main pour mieux reprendre de l’autre.)

The remarkable development and success of (international) commercial arbitration over the past sixty years have been accompanied by a surge of players and by an alteration in the ethos of arbitrators, giving rise to ethical concerns and various ineffective attempts to address some of those concerns. To restore the confidence of users in arbitration as a dispute resolution mechanism, Guillaume FELD advocates in favour of the voluntary adoption and implementation of a coherent deontological corpus (Guillaume FELD, Pour une déontologie de l’arbitre.)

Olivier Luc MOSIMANN reports on a recent decision of the Swiss Supreme Court (4A_559/2022 of 3 August 2023) which provides useful, albeit not comprehensive, guidance on the law governing the interpretation of a forum-selection clause under the Swiss Private International Law Act (PILA).
This decision confirms that the more flexible rules applying to the interpretation of arbitration agreements do not apply to forum selection clauses. (Olivier Luc MOSIMANN, Law Applicable to Forum Selection Clauses – Less Flexibility than for Arbitration Clauses.)

Foreign Case Law
Cour d’appel de Paris, Pôle 5 chambre 16, 3 janvier 2023, n° 21/14388
[Enforcement proceedings – Third parties – Third-party application to set aside – Setting-aside proceedings – Standing – Public policy – Emanation of the State – Central Bank of Libya –France – Denial of justice]

Swiss Federal Supreme Court Decisions
5A_406/2022, Urteil vom 17. März 2023 [Enforcement of ICSID Award in
Switzerland – Requirements for attachment of State assets]
5A_469/2022, Urteil vom 21. März 2023 [Enforcement of Swiss Award in Switzerland – Requirements for attachment of State assets]
5A_824/2020, Arrêt du 12 février 2021 [Lifting of corporate veil at enforcement stage]
4A_346/2020, Arrêt du 6 janvier 2021 [Corruption – Principal entitled to refuse payment to agent]
4A_300/2021, Urteil vom 11. November 2021 [Prohibition (i) to take the parties by surprise with unforeseeable legal arguments, and (ii) to decide ultra petita]
4A_27/2021, Urteil vom 7. Mai 2021 [Timeliness of new claims and impact on jurisdiction – Order to reimburse cost advance paid by claimant in lieu of respondent]
4A_38/2023, Urteil vom 27. Januar 2023 [Out of time annulment request]
4A_430/2020, Arrêt du 10 février 2021 [Application of UNIDROIT Principles no improper surprise for parties – Factual finding in operative part not ultra petita –Sanctions no bar to post-award interest]
4A_191/2020, Ordonnance du 23 août 2021 [Withdrawal of a challenge against a treaty award (PCA no. 2012-14)]
B-2233/2020, Urteil vom 16. Februar 2021 [Stock exchange arbitration (SIX) –No forced arbitration]
4A_559/2022, Urteil vom 3. August 2023 [Law applicable to interpretation of scope of forum selection agreement – Whether inspection request covered]
4A_612/2020, Arrêt du 18 juin 2021 [Whether doping sanction qualifies as award (or merely as a decision of a sports federation) – Exhaustion of remedies (appellate arbitral tribunal)]
4A_56/2020, Arrêt du 8 juillet 2020 [Request to set aside domestic award – No arbitrariness found]

Matthias Scherer & Catherine A. Kunz


Access the ASA Bulletin
Matthias Scherer (Editor in Chief), Catherine A. Kunz (Editor)

You can order the ASA Bulletin at Kluwer Law International.
Order now

ASA Members can download the ASA Bulletin published since 2002 from the Kluwer homepage through the secured download page.

For more information, or to obtain your password, please contact