Comparative Guides

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4. Results: Answers
International Arbitration
Enforcement of awards
Are awards enforced in your jurisdiction? Under what procedure?

Answer ... According to Article 190, paragraph 1 of the Private International Law Act (PILA) and Article 387 of the Swiss Code of Civil Procedure (CPC), a domestic award rendered by an arbitral tribunal with its seat in Switzerland is final and is thus enforceable from its notification, in the same way as a decision rendered by a Swiss state court. The applicable enforcement procedure depends on the relief awarded by the arbitral tribunal. While monetary awards are enforced pursuant to the Swiss Debt Enforcement and Bankruptcy Law, the CPC is applicable to enforcement proceedings with regard to non-monetary relief.

In terms of validity requirements, Article 189, paragraph 1 of the PILA requires the domestic award to be rendered in conformity with the procedural rules or in the form agreed upon by the parties. In the absence of such agreement, the arbitral tribunal should render the award by a majority or, in the absence of a majority, by the chairperson alone (Article 189, paragraph 2 of the PILA). The award must be in writing, supported by reasons, dated and signed; in this regard, the chairperson’s signature is sufficient.

Foreign arbitral awards are recognised and enforced in Switzerland as per the New York Convention (Article 194 of the PILA), regardless of reciprocity.

In general, there is no need for a separate exequatur for the recognition of an award in Switzerland. An independent request for recognition may be granted only under exceptional circumstances, provided that the applicant can demonstrate that it has a legitimate interest in having this issue determined, without at the same time seeking enforcement of the award.

For more information about this answer please contact: Anja Vogt from Niederer Kraft Frey AG
International Arbitration