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The award

Requirements

What legal requirements are there for recognition of an award? Must reasons be given for the award? Does the award need to be reviewed by any other body?

The award must be made in writing and signed by the arbitrators. It suffices if the award is signed by a majority of the arbitrators, provided that the reason why all of the arbitrators did not sign the award is noted. The parties may decide that the chair of the arbitral tribunal alone will sign the award.

The date and place of arbitration must also be stated in the award.

There is no requirement that the award must include reasons. However, the Rules of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce provide that the arbitral tribunal must state the reasons for the award unless agreed otherwise by the parties.

Awards made under the Arbitration Act are recognised without review by other institutional bodies.

Timeframe for delivery

Are there any time limits on delivery of the award?

The Arbitration Act provides no time limits for delivery of the award.

If the proceedings are conducted under the Rules of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, the time limit for rendering the award is six months from the date on which the tribunal receives the case file. In expedited arbitration, the time limit is three months.

Remedies

Does the law impose limits on the available remedies? Are some remedies not enforceable by the court?

The Arbitration Act sets down no limitations in terms of permissible remedies. 

However, the public order rule determines the available remedies, as an award will be deemed null and void if it conflicts with Swedish public policy. 

What interim measures are available? Will local courts issue interim measures pending constitution of the tribunal?

Under Section 25 of the Arbitration Act, if so requested an arbitral tribunal may, unless otherwise agreed by the parties, decide that the other party must undertake an interim measure to secure the disputed claim during the proceedings. An arbitral tribunal may grant interim measures to:

  • maintain or restore the status quo pending determination of the dispute;
  • take action that would prevent, or refrain from taking action that is likely to cause, imminent harm or prejudice to the arbitral process itself;
  • provide a means of preserving assets from which a subsequent award may be satisfied; or
  • preserve evidence that may be relevant and material to the resolution of the dispute.

However, orders issued by the arbitral tribunal granting interim measures are not enforceable through enforcement proceedings in Sweden.

The arbitration agreement does not prevent the parties – before or during a dispute before arbitrators – from seeking interim measures in court.

Interest

Can interest be awarded?

Yes.

At what rate?

Where Swedish substantive law applies to the dispute, interest is generally awarded pursuant to the Interest Act (SFS 1975:635). The statute provides that interest for late payment accrues at a rate corresponding to the reference rate of the Swedish Central Bank plus eight percentage points.

However, the award of interest always requires that a party make a claim for interest.

Finality

Is the award final and binding?

 Arbitration awards are final and binding. However, the decision on compensation granted to the arbitrators may be appealed.

What if there are any mistakes?

Section 32 of the Arbitration Act provides that if the arbitrators find that an award contains any obvious inaccuracy as a consequence of a typographical, computational or other mistake by the arbitrators or another person, or if the arbitrators failed to decide an issue which should have been dealt with in the award, they may, within 30 days of the announcement of the award, decide to correct or supplement the award. They may also correct or supplement an award, or interpret the decision in an award, where a party so requests within 30 days of receipt of the award by that party. 

Can the parties exclude by agreement any right of appeal or other recourse that the law of your jurisdiction may provide?

Agreements to exclude or limit the parties’ rights to challenge an award are recognised and enforced in Sweden only where:

  • none of the parties is domiciled or has its place of business in Sweden;
  • the parties’ relationship is of a commercial nature; and
  • the agreement is in writing.

Appeal

What is the procedure for challenging awards?

A party can seek to have an award rendered null and void or set aside before a court.

An award may be declared null and void if:

  • it includes determination of an issue which, in accordance with Swedish law, may not be decided by arbitrators;
  • it, or the manner in which it arose, is clearly incompatible with the basic principles of the Swedish legal system; or
  • it does not fulfil the requirements with regard to the written form and signature.

There is no time limit in the Arbitration Act for seeking to have an award rendered null and void. 

A court may also set aside an award if:

  • it is not covered by a valid arbitration agreement between the parties;
  • the arbitrators have made the award after expiry of the period decided by the parties or where the arbitrators have otherwise exceeded their mandate;
  • arbitral proceedings should not have taken place in Sweden;
  • an arbitrator has been appointed contrary to the agreement between the parties or the Arbitration Act;
  • an arbitrator was unauthorised; or
  • through no fault of the party, an irregularity occurred in the course of the proceedings which influenced the outcome of the case.

A party is not entitled to rely on circumstances which, through participating in the proceedings without objecting, it may be deemed to have waived.

A claim for setting aside an award must be made within three months of the party receiving a copy of the award.

An action against an award pursuant to the above will be considered by the court of appeal in the jurisdiction where the arbitral proceedings were held. Where the place of arbitration is not stated in the award, the action may be brought before the Svea Court of Appeal.

On what grounds can parties appeal an award?

Arbitral awards cannot be appealed in Sweden; they can be challenged only based on the grounds mentioned above.  

Enforcement

What steps can be taken to enforce the award if there is a failure to comply?

A foreign award (ie, an award made abroad) becomes enforceable only subject to an exequatur proceeding.

An application to that effect must be lodged with the Svea Court of Appeal.

A foreign award will not be recognised and enforced in Sweden where the party against which the award is invoked proves as follows:

  • The parties to the arbitration agreement, pursuant to the applicable law, lacked capacity to enter into the agreement or were not properly represented, or that the arbitration agreement was invalid under the law to which the parties have subjected it or, failing any indication thereon, under the law of the country where the award was made.
  • The party against which the award is invoked was not given proper notice of the appointment of the arbitrator or of the arbitration proceedings, or was otherwise unable to present its case.
  • The award deals with a dispute not contemplated by, or not falling within, the terms of the submission to arbitration, or contains decisions on matters which are beyond the scope of the arbitration agreement, provided that, if the decision on a matter which falls within the mandate can be separated from those which fall outside the mandate, that part of the award which contains decisions on matters falling within the mandate may be recognised and enforced.
  • The composition of the arbitral tribunal or the arbitral procedure was not in accordance with the agreement of the parties or, failing such agreement, was not in accordance with the law of the country where the arbitration took place.
  • The award has not yet become binding on the parties, or has been set aside or suspended by a competent authority of the country in which, or under the law of which, the award was made.

Recognition and enforcement of a foreign award shall also be refused where a court finds that:

  • the award includes determination of an issue which, in accordance with Swedish law, may not be decided by arbitrators; or
  • it would be clearly incompatible with the basic principles of the Swedish legal system to recognise and enforce the award. 

Can awards be enforced in local courts?

See above.

How enforceable is the award internationally?

Swedish arbitral awards are typically enforced internationally. However, domestic law in the state where enforcement is sought will ultimately determine the enforceability of a foreign award.

To what extent might a state or state entity successfully raise a defence of state or sovereign immunity at the enforcement stage?

Sweden has adopted a restrictive approach to state immunity. Sweden has also ratified the UN Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Properties. The convention has yet to come into force due to the low number of ratifications, but Sweden’s ratification of the convention is confirmation  of Sweden’s adherence to the principles  of restrictive immunity.

Recent case law from the Supreme Court has held that enforcement may be granted in relation to property used for other purposes than governmental non-commercial purposes.   

Are there any other bases on which an award may be challenged, and if so, by what?

The grounds on which an award can be challenged are exhaustive.

How enforceable are foreign arbitral awards in your jurisdiction?

Foreign arbitral awards are typically enforced in Sweden.  

Will an award that has been set aside by the courts in the seat of arbitration be enforced in your jurisdiction?

If an award is set aside or declared null and void in the state of the seat of arbitration, the award cannot be enforced in Sweden.  

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