May 22, 2017 Articles

International Arbitration in Switzerland: The Basics in a Nutshell

By Daniel Hochstrasser and Isabelle Oehri

For more than a century, Switzerland has been among the preferred venues for international arbitrations worldwide, whether in ad hoc or in institutional proceedings, and be it for commercial, investment, or sports-related disputes. What is the secret behind this leading position Switzerland is successfully defending against an increasing competition from recently emerging new arbitration hubs?

Various factors may account for Switzerland's reputation as a well-recognized center for arbitration, including its long-standing tradition of neutrality, democracy, and stability, which made it an ideal host country for many international organizations and dispute settlement institutions, such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and major international sports organizations including the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the International Olympic Committee (IOC), FIFA, and UEFA. Such success is, however, above all owed to the clear and liberal Swiss international arbitration law, which offers maximum flexibility for the parties and arbitrators to tailor the proceedings to their needs. The efficiency and predictability of this legislation is further enhanced by the straightforward approach adopted by Swiss courts and practitioners.

This article provides an overview on this regulatory framework governing international arbitration in Switzerland.

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