Arbitration Case Alert

Request for revision of arbitral award that dismissed corruption allegations rejected


4A_69/2022 (23 September 2022)

Request for revision of arbitral award that dismissed corruption allegations rejected

In a French-language decision of 23 September 2022, the Swiss Supreme Court rejected a request for the revision
of an arbitral award rendered in a Swiss-seated arbitration under the UNCITRAL Rules.

The underlying dispute arose out of several agreements transferring management control of a Croatian energy
company, INA, from the Croatian state to MOL, a Hungarian oil and gas company. Croatia sought a declaration
from the arbitral tribunal that the agreements were invalid, alleging that they had been obtained through bribery.
The tribunal rejected Croatia's claims.

Croatia subsequently filed a revision request before the Swiss Supreme Court pursuant to Article 190a(1)(a) and
(b) of the Private International Law Act (PILA), claiming that it had discovered new evidence and that the award
had been influenced by a criminal act. Croatia relied on a recent criminal conviction in Croatia relating to the
alleged bribery.

The court declared the request inadmissible on the first ground and rejected it on the second ground, making several
key findings, namely:

• The broad waiver of appeal included in the arbitration agreement precluded Croatia from requesting
revision on the first ground.

• As per the letter of the law, a party may not rely on evidence that postdates the award to request revision.

• A tribunal that must decide on allegations of corruption is not bound by the findings of a criminal court in
that regard.

• The criminal conviction for bribery in Croatia did not demonstrate that the award had been influenced by a
criminal act.

The decision provides an important addition to the case law of the Swiss Supreme Court on requests for revision.
It clarifies that a broadly worded waiver clause may be read to exclude the extraordinary remedy of revision, even if it makes no reference to Article 190a of the PILA or was drafted before the revised PILA came into force on 1
January 2021. (Decision 4A_69/2022 (23 September 2022).)


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