As a practitioner of Finnish law, it is indeed a great challenge for me to present a report to form one basis for, “A Critical Review of Strengths and Weaknesses of the Swedish Arbitration Act, 1999, Five Years On.”
I am of course also honored by the fact that I have been asked to take such active part in this symposium. I cannot but admire the way in which legislation in Sweden is, first, prepared very carefully, and, then, valuated at short intervals.
Not being a practitioner of Swedish law, but having had the privilege of acting as arbitrator and counsel in international arbitrations under the present Swedish Arbitration Act (the “Arbitration Act”), I will in my report mainly focus on a selected number of decisions that appear to touch upon principles of general interest and that also have been singled out in the program.
When lining up pros and cons of arbitration compared to litigation before a court of law, one of the first pros held out is usually that arbitral proceedings are “confidential,” whereas proceedings before a court are “public.” A difference and an advantage that is, or at least has been, taken almost for granted.
In what probably constitutes the vast majority of commercial arbitrations, confidentiality issues are never “tested”, as both the parties in dispute, their counsel and the arbitrator(s), without questioning their legal confidentiality rights and obligations in any detail, simply do not divulge the fact that they are or have been involved in a particular arbitration, the information/documentation that they have exchanged/received during the arbitral proceedings or the conduct or contents of the deliberations within the arbitral tribunal.