Supreme Court 25 May 2007

In this case between Spaanderman and Anova, the question before the court was whether the arbitral tribunal violated the right to hear and be heard by basing its award in part on a statement made by a witness produced by Spaanderman, without the offer to produce evidence or without an order to submit evidence having been issued, and subsequently failing to provide Anova with the opportunity to bring rebuttal witnesses.

The Supreme Court held that, generally speaking, not every violation of a procedural rule may result in the setting aside of the arbitral award and that restraint should be exercised in setting aside arbitral awards. However, the Supreme Court held that there is no place for restraint in setting aside the arbitral award in situations where the fundamental right to hear and be heard is violated. Since the arbitral tribunal had failed to grant Anova the opportunity to bring rebuttal witnesses, the right to hear and be heard had been violated and the arbitral award was set aside.

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