A conciliation procedure should take place, if required by law, within two months of receipt of the applicant`s request by the conciliation authority. In the absence of an agreement during the conciliation hearing, the conciliation authority usually gives the applicant permission to apply to the court of first instance. The applicant then has the right to lodge the appeal and bring the case before the courts within three months. The applicant is of course free to file the application earlier in order to speed up the proceedings. Switzerland is known for its neutrality, consistent and high-quality case law and large number of multilingual lawyers. These are some of the reasons why Switzerland is also a well-established place for arbitration. The Swiss judicial system is very efficient and effective compared to other states. Court-initiated comparisons are widespread. Commercial courts are best known for conducting efficient proceedings and with a high rate of comparison (see also question 23 above). Recent figures show that approximately two thirds of cases pending before the Commercial Courts, with the assistance of the Tribunal, are settled within six months of the filing of the application. If a defendant invokes an arbitration agreement, a Swiss court must reject the decision on the case, unless the arbitration agreement is void and unresolved, ineffective or unenforceable or if the court cannot be formed for reasons that the respondent must represent. The Swiss Rules are widely recognised as an alternative to other common arbitration rules, in particular the ICC Arbitration Rules.
Under Swiss law and Swiss rules, parties to an arbitration agreement have the right to seek interim, provisional or urgent remedies before a national court or arbitral tribunal. In the past, parties often had to apply to a State court for interim measures in cases of particularly urgent urgency — and if the arbitral tribunal had not yet been formed. The revised Swiss rules address the need, even in these circumstances, to have a choice between national jurisdiction and arbitration, specifying that the arbitral tribunal has the power to issue ex parte interim measures and establishing an emergency arbitration procedure. The courts are empowered to manage directly and effectively the proceedings pending pending them. Indeed, the Swiss courts are empowered to consolidate claims filed separately, to separate appeals filed jointly or to branch out proceedings. Where claims relating to facts are pending before different courts, the court subsequently seised may transfer the case to the court first seised, provided that the court has received the consent of that court. In addition, at any time during the proceedings, the courts have the power to facilitate an attempt at an amicable settlement. If, so far, an appeal is brought before an arbitral tribunal and a State court for the same dispute, the court last seised has had to stay the proceedings until the court first seised has ruled on its jurisdiction.
At the same time, the national court could in principle refuse jurisdiction in the event of an arbitration agreement. With the review, the arbitral tribunal is no longer obliged to stay the proceedings until the Landesgericht has ruled. . . .