Swiss Rules—tribunal's powers
Produced in partnership with LALIVE
Swiss Rules—tribunal's powers

The following Arbitration practice note produced in partnership with LALIVE provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Swiss Rules—tribunal's powers
  • Competence-competence
  • Granting of interim measures
  • Modifying emergency relief
  • Determining the applicable law
  • Conducting the proceedings
  • Render an award
  • Administer and award costs

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19): Many arbitral organisations have responded to the coronavirus pandemic with practical guidance and/or changes to their usual procedures and ways of working. For information on how this content and relevant arbitration proceedings may be impacted, see Practice Note: Arbitral organisations and coronavirus (COVID-19)—practical impact. For additional information, see: Coronavirus (COVID-19) and arbitration—overview.

The Swiss Rules of International Arbitration (the Swiss Rules), which entered into force on 1 June 2012, apply to all arbitrations commenced on or after 1 June 2012 on the basis of an arbitration agreement referring either to the Swiss Rules or to the former rules of the Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution (the SCAI).

The Swiss Rules grant the arbitral tribunal significant powers and discretion relating to various aspects of the arbitration. In general, the tribunal may conduct the arbitration in such manner as it considers appropriate, provided that it ensures equal treatment of the parties and their right to be heard (art 15.1).


The tribunal has the power to rule on any jurisdictional objection, including any objection with respect to the existence or validity of the arbitration clause or of the separate arbitration agreement (art 21.1). This provision of the Swiss Rules reflects the widely accepted international standard (known as competence-competence or kompetenz-kompetenz) that an arbitral tribunal may rule on its own jurisdiction.

The tribunal also has the power to determine the

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