Post-Hearing Issues In International Arbitration - Chapter 9 - “Revision” of “Swiss” International Arbitral Awards: An Interesting Rarity
Dr. Charles Poncet who was born in Geneva (Switzerland) on December 31st, 1946 Dr. PONCET is a partner in the Geneva law firm of ZPG: the firm specializes in international arbitration, commercial litigation, public law and general corporate work. In 1965, Dr. PONCET obtained his B.A. (“maturité”) at Calvin College in Geneva, majoring in classical studies (Latin and Greek). He then graduated from the University of Geneva Law School in 1969 (licence en droit). In 1972, after the mandatory two years internship, he qualified at the Geneva Bar examination. While in the US, he was awarded the degree of Master of Comparative Law at Georgetown University Law School in Washington D.C. and studied at the institute for Foreign and International Trade Law (Prof. Don WALLACE Jr.). Finally, he obtained his Ph.D. in law (Doctorat en droit) at the University of Geneva Law School. He has published in Swiss Law Journals (Semaine judiciaire, Zentralblatt für Staats- und Gemeindeverwaltung, MediaLex, etc.), in the French International Journal of Comparative Law (Revue Internationale de Droit Comparé) and his thesis was published in Basel (Switzerland). He has also contributed articles, book reviews, notes and translations to “Arbitration” (Journal of the British Chartered Institute of Arbitrators), to the Yearbook of Commercial Arbitration, to the American Journal of International Law, to International Legal Materials and to the Swiss Arbitration Bulletin. Dr. PONCET has been active in international arbitration for over twenty years, initially as secretary of several international arbitral tribunals and subsequently as arbitrator, chairman or counsel. He appeared in several leading cases concerning large scale investments, joint ventures and other disputes, often involving amounts in dispute approaching or in excess of one billion USD. Dr. Poncet publishes English translations of all decisions of the Swiss Supreme Court concerning international arbitration since 2008.
Revision is an extraordinary legal remedy through which an enforceable judgment may be annulled under certain specific, limited, circumstances. It is generally considered as more germane to civil law systems than to their common law counterparts.1 Revision is to be clearly distinguished from ordinary annulment proceedings. Whilst the latter make it possible to seek the annulment of an award by appealing it directly to the Federal Tribunal (which is the Supreme Court of Switzerland) on certain grounds, revision is an extraordinary legal remedy, which under certain circumstances, makes it possible to reopen the proceedings in front of the Federal Tribunal and, if successful, will cause the matter to be sent back to the arbitral tribunal – or even to a new arbitral tribunal – even though the time limit to initiate annulment proceedings may have expired several years ago.
The Swiss law on revision of international arbitral awards is judge made and it was created in 1992.2 The Federal Tribunal had been seized of a request for revision of a May 1991 award, which had been upheld in the normal setting aside process (the Federal Tribunal having rejected an appeal on September 30, 1991).
Originally from: Post-Hearing Issues in International Arbitration
I. Material Requirements for Revision of a "Swiss" International Award
II. Swiss cases subsequent to the March 11, 1992 judgment of the Federal Tribunal
III. The Leading Case: Alfred Sirven's Criminal Plot in the Thales Arbitration
IV. "New" and "Pertinent" Facts
A. "New" and "Conclusive" Evidence
V. Decision "Influenced by a Crime"