In a decision rendered on March 2, 2017, the Swiss Supreme Court
ruled that a sole arbitrator did not violate fundamental procedural
principles and/or a party's right to be appropriately heard by
admitting a detailed statement of claim which was filed one day
late pursuant to a provisional timetable contained in one of the
sole arbitrator's procedural orders.
This decision is in line with leading legal commentators in
Switzerland saying that some leniency by an arbitral tribunal in
admitting delayed briefs in an international or national
arbitration may be acceptable. At the same time, it is important to
say that the arbitration parties do not have a right to count with
Swiss international arbitration rules are therefore more
generous than the Swiss Civil Procedural Code of 2011, which says
that delayed procedural actions must be disregarded by a state
court in any case, provided that the state court explicitly
notified the parties of the legal consequences of a delay. There
are though a variety of exemptions to this rule: e.g. a state must
extend the deadline for state court cost and similar orders that
missed a judicial deadline.
The Swiss Supreme Court did not discuss the topic to what extent
the arbitration parties had agreed by their their right to define
the legal consequences of a delay. The case did not either present
the opportunity to address the much discussed topic in
international arbitration as to to what extent local rules e.g. on
bank or other holidays should be applied in determining whether a
specific deadline had been met. There was no chance either to
discuss as to how international arbitral tribunals must handle
different time zones in case the arbitral parties do not have an
agreeement to that end.
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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