Switzerland enjoys strong position as a traditional arbitration centre

By Christian Oetiker and Wu Fan, VISCHER

For more than 100 years, Switzerland has been one of the preferred venues for hosting international arbitrations, rendering it one of the pre-eminent arbitration centres and not only for Europe. Parties from all over the world choose to have their disputes decided by arbitral tribunals with their seat in Switzerland.

吴帆 Wu Fan 菲谢尔律师事务所 中国业务部 顾问 Counsel China Desk VISCHER
Wu Fan
China Desk

The first reason for Switzerland being such a well-recognised arbitration centre is its political situation. Switzerland is a politically neutral country, and the political situation has been stable for decades. This is also recognised internationally, illustrated by the fact that Switzerland hosts many international organisations or dispute settlement institutions, including the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation, the World Intellectual Property Organisation, the International Federation of Consulting Engineers, the International Air Transport Association, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the International Olympic Committee and other major international sports organisations such as FIFA (the Federation Internationale de Football Association) and UEFA (the Union of European Football Associations).

Modern law

Second, as early as 1987, Switzerland enacted a very modern international arbitration law (chapter 12 of the 1987 Federal Private International Law Act). It is one of the forerunners of modern arbitration laws worldwide, and has been an inspiration for many jurisdictions. Although the act has been around for almost 30 years now, it is still a modern piece of legislation and an excellent basis for arbitral proceedings. Clear and concise with only 18 articles, the act supports an arbitration-friendly and efficient regime that highlights Switzerland’s strong support for international arbitration.

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