Sweden - Part I - The Review of International Arbitral Awards
Roland Halvorsen, Judge, Svea Court of Appeal, Sweden.
As you know Sweden is a small country with around nine million inhabitants, and one could well ask oneself why arbitration in Sweden could be of any interest in an international forum such as this. So I think it would be useful to first give some background regarding my country’s position on arbitration before moving on to the official topic of this session.
Sweden has a long tradition of arbitration, with statutory regulations dating back to the beginning of the 19th century. Sweden has taken an active part in the work leading up to the New York Convention, the UNCITRAL Rules and the Model Arbitration Law. The current Swedish Arbitration Act (SAA) was adopted as recently as 1999 and entered into force on the 1st of April of that year. It is based on the UNCITRAL Model Law and it replaced the 1929 Act on Arbitrators. This Act is still applicable to arbitral proceedings commenced prior to the entry into force of the SAA and certain of its provisions are still applicable to arbitration agreements concluded prior to the entry into force of the SAA.
In a volume published in 2008 in honor of Lars Heuman, retired Swedish professor and leading scholar on arbitration law, Hans Bagner said that Stockholm has become one of the world’s leading centers for international commercial arbitration. According to recent statistics, there were 87 international arbitration cases under the auspices of the Arbitration Institute at the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce in 2007, up from 56 in the year 2005. In 2007, there were in total 170 national and international cases. By August 2008, the Institute had already received 49 international cases, out of a total of 104.