Challenging the tribunal’s jurisdiction in Sweden
Produced in partnership with Jesper Tiberg of Westerberg

The following Arbitration practice note produced in partnership with Jesper Tiberg of Westerberg provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Challenging the tribunal’s jurisdiction in Sweden
  • Tribunal’s power to determine its own jurisdiction
  • Challenging jurisdiction
  • Award or decision?
  • Court’s power to review tribunal’s decision
  • Standards for the arbitrators assessment of jurisdiction
  • Separability
  • Doctrine of assertions
  • No jurisdiction
  • Positive decision on jurisdiction

Challenging the tribunal’s jurisdiction in Sweden

This Practice Note considers matters of tribunal jurisdiction under Swedish law.

Tribunal’s power to determine its own jurisdiction

If a party to an arbitration in Sweden objects to the jurisdiction of the arbitrators, the arbitrators have the authority to determine their own jurisdiction. The arbitrators' decision is, however, not binding on the parties as the decision may be appealed by one party to the Court of Appeal at the seat of the arbitration within 30 days. 

Section 2 of the Swedish Arbitration Act (SAA) provides as follows:

'The arbitrators may rule on their own jurisdiction to decide the dispute. If the arbitrators have issued a decision that they have jurisdiction to decide the dispute, a party may appeal the decision to the Court of Appeal. Such appeal shall be filed no later than 30 days from the day that the party received the decision. The arbitrators may continue the arbitral proceedings pending the determination by the court. The arbitrators may continue the arbitral proceedings pending the determination by the court.

The provisions of sections 34 and 36 shall apply in respect of an action to challenge an arbitral award which includes a decision in respect of jurisdiction.'

Thus, Swedish law recognises the principle of kompetenz-kompetenz which means that it is the arbitrators who have the authority to determine their own jurisdiction. In doing so, the

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