Judgment of The Supreme Court, 17 of June 2015, Case No. T 5767-13
Summary: The appellant appealed to the Supreme Court a decision of the Svea Court of Appeal, which had rejected the appellant’s application to declare an arbitral award invalid on the basis that it violated public policy. In the award, the tribunal had found the appellant in breach of EU competition law and ordered it to pay damages. The appellant argued before the Court of Appeal that the award should be declared invalid because the tribunal had misinterpreted EU competition law, which constitutes public policy under the so-called Eco Swiss doctrine. According to this doctrine, EU competition rules are part of public policy, which means that they may serve as grounds for setting aside an arbitral award. The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeal, concluding that the arbitral tribunal’s award was not contrary to the mandatory EU competition rules, and should not be set aside on public policy grounds. The Court explained that the threshold for invalidity is high; an award is invalid only if it is clearly incompatible with basic principles of Swedish law or public policy, such as when an award orders a party to carry out illegal actions, or when an award is contrary to Swedish or EU competition law. The Supreme Court further found that it was not necessary to request a preliminary judgment from the ECJ to guide its review of the matter, because the principles of EU law involved were settled, and not open to interpretation. The Supreme Court also rejected the other grounds on which the appellant sought to challenge the award.