Decision in the Svea Court of Appeal, 17 April 2020. Case no. T 8181-19
The claimant in the challenge proceedings challenged an arbitral award and argued, as far as relevant for the Court of Appeal’s decision, the following:
- The chairman of the arbitral tribunal has not had the qualifications agreed between the parties.
- In the preparation of Procedural Orders as well as the arbitral award the chairman enlisted the assistance of another person. It must be assumed that this person had a determining influence on the wording and contents of the procedural orders as well as the arbitral award. Therefore, procedural errors occurred which likely affected the outcome of the arbitration.
- The chairman of the arbitral tribunal has not fulfilled the requirement of impartiality.
It was undisputed by the parties that two of the grounds had been invoked after the expiry of the time limit set out in the Swedish Arbitration Act. However, the claimant in the challenge proceedings argued that the time limit in Section 34 of the Swedish Arbitration Act can be disregarded in the event of improper behaviour, which had occurred according to the claimant.
The respondent in the challenge proceedings argued that the two grounds submitted after the expiry of the time limit in the Swedish Arbitration Act should be dismissed and that the rest of the grounds, as well as the two abovementioned grounds should they not be dismissed by the Court of Appeal, had been precluded and that the Court of Appeal should decide the issue of preclusion by way of an intermediate judgment.
The claimant in the challenge proceedings disputed the motion for dismissal and objected to the Court of Appeal determining the issue of preclusion by way of intermediary judgment. Further, the claimant requested that the Court of Appeal should request a statement from the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (the SCC), wherein the SCC should be requested to provide certain information regarding its procedure and the chair of the arbitral tribunal. The respondent in the challenge proceedings objected to this request.
Svea Court of Appeal found that neither the provisions of the Swedish Arbitration Act nor the preparatory works or case law support that it would be possible to disregard the time limit in Section 34 of the Swedish Arbitration Act. Therefore, the Court of Appeal decided to dismiss the challenge grounds invoked after expiry of the time limit in the Swedish Arbitration.
The Court of Appeal also dismissed the request for intermediary judgment since the Court of Appeal did not find that it would be procedural-economically beneficial to give such a judgment.
Finally, the Court of Appeal rejected the request for procurement of a statement from the SCC since the statement was such evidence for which a party is responsible.