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Sweden: New, More User Friendly, Arbitration Act to Be Discusssed

(Feb. 14, 2014) On February 6, 2014, the Swedish Minister of Justice Beatrice Ask published an Op-Ed on the future of arbitration in Sweden. (Beatrice Ask, Sverige måste vässa reglerna om skiljeförfarande och effectivisera klanderprocessen i domstol [Sweden Needs to Sharpen Its Rules on Arbitration and Make Protest Actions Before the Courts More Efficient], DAGENS JURIDIK (Feb. 6, 2014).) The Minister of Justice argues that a trade-dependent country like Sweden always should lead by example and needs to provide a competitive forum for international trade and investment disputes. As an example of possible changes, the need for predictability, suggests Ask, may require shortening the time to protest an arbitral award, currently a period of three months. (Id.)

Also on February 6, the Department for Justice published a commission report on arbitration. (Press Release, Kommittédirektiv om översyn av lagen om skiljeförfarande [Commission Report on Review of the Arbitration Act], Government Offices of Sweden website (Feb. 6, 2014).) Issues expressly mentioned as warranting investigation for revision include consolidation of proceedings, multiparty arbitration, choice of law rules for material law, new rules for protest actions, and use of English in certain court cases that relate to an international arbitral award or proceeding. (En översyn av lagen om skiljeförfarande[A Review of the Arbitration Act], Dir. 2014:16 (Feb. 6, 2014), Government Offices of Sweden website [click on link to download document].)

The full government report is scheduled to be presented no later than August 15, 2015. (Id.) The coordinator for the research report will be former Supreme Court President Johan Munck. (Kommittédirektiv om översyn av lagen om skiljeförfarande, supra.)