Arbitration in Stockholm — Distinct Features and Recent Developments 

July, 2007 - Ulf Hårdeman Polina Permyakova

The Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce upholds a strong position as one of the most important centres of international arbitration. The steady growth in the number of cases involving foreign parties that are administered by the Arbitration Institute convincingly demonstrates its worldwide popularity and reputation. Foreign parties to a dispute choose Swedish arbitration for various reasons – modern legislation on arbitration complying with international standards such as the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration, finality of arbitral awards which
excludes any review on the merits found in some other jurisdictions, e.g. in England. In addition, general efficacy of arbitration proceedings and administrative matters – 6 months time-limit for rendering the final award, lack of bureaucracy, established confidentiality of arbitral proceedings as well as an ability of the Arbitration Institute to administer cases in various languages and assist in legalization of awards – further distinguishes Stockholm as an excellent arbitration venue.

The efficacy of the arbitral proceedings is highly dependant upon the arbitration rules. The Arbitration Rules of the SCC Institute have a strong reputation of being considered as well-functioning and are widely used for resolving commercial disputes between the parties from all over the world. Based on the most recent developments in international commercial arbitration and suggestions purported by common practice, the SCC Institute has recently revised the Rules and adopted new Arbitration Rules effective as of 1 January 2007. The new version of the Arbitration Rules aims at establishing even more effective and reliable arbitral procedure.

While the new version provides more detailed rules on the organization of the Arbitration Institute embodied in a separate appendix that sharpens the division of the functions of the Board and the Secretariat of the Institute, no other fundamental changes in the structure of the Rules have been implemented. Yet, important improvements have been made in regard to several provisions of the Rules, as for instance, concerning consolidation, evidence, interim measures, right of an arbitral tribunal to make a separate award on advance on costs and issues of appointment of arbitrators.

The new version of the Rules introduced a provision on consolidation of arbitral proceedings, an issue frequently arising in arbitration. New Article 11 provides that the Board of the SCC Institute may consolidate arbitral proceedings pending under the SCC Rules, provided they concern the same legal relationship and involve the same parties. Such consolidation can however only take place after consultation with the arbitrators and parties.

A significant improvement is an explicit rule entitling an arbitral tribunal to determine the admissibility, relevance, materiality and weight of evidence. (Articles 26, 28 and 29
Arbitration Rules). Further, revision of the provisions on interim measures will facilitate their enforceability. Pursuant to Article 32 (3) of the Rules, the arbitral tribunal has the power to grant an interim measure in the form of an order or in the form of an arbitral award. The new version
of the Rules has also remedied an uncertainty in respect of the arbitral tribunal’s power to render a separate award when one of the parties has paid a part of the advance on costs allocated to another party on its behalf. Pursuant to new Article 45 (4), the arbitral tribunal may, at the request of a party, make a separate award ordering a party to reimburse another party for any advance on
costs paid on its behalf.


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