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Dispute boards placering på den svenska konfliktlösningskartan

Bernström, Joachim LU (2011) JURM01 20102
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
En alternativ tvistlösningsform som har växt fram sedan 1970-talet är så kallade dispute boards eller privata tvistlösningsnämnder. Dispute boards används företrädesvis i omfattande och komplexa projekt som ska genomföras under lång tid, såsom infrastrukturprojekt och större entreprenadprojekt. I sådana projekt finns det ofta ett stort behov av att snabbt kunna avgöra tvister som uppstår mellan parterna samtidigt som möjligheten att föra tvisten vidare till domstol eller skiljenämnd för slutlig prövning kvarstår.

Syftet med att upprätta en dispute board är således att tillgodose behovet av en metod för tvistlösning i stora komplexa projekt som är objektiv, flexibel, snabb och under vissa förutsättningar bindande och som ger parterna... (More)
En alternativ tvistlösningsform som har växt fram sedan 1970-talet är så kallade dispute boards eller privata tvistlösningsnämnder. Dispute boards används företrädesvis i omfattande och komplexa projekt som ska genomföras under lång tid, såsom infrastrukturprojekt och större entreprenadprojekt. I sådana projekt finns det ofta ett stort behov av att snabbt kunna avgöra tvister som uppstår mellan parterna samtidigt som möjligheten att föra tvisten vidare till domstol eller skiljenämnd för slutlig prövning kvarstår.

Syftet med att upprätta en dispute board är således att tillgodose behovet av en metod för tvistlösning i stora komplexa projekt som är objektiv, flexibel, snabb och under vissa förutsättningar bindande och som ger parterna rimliga möjligheter att tillvarata sina intressen. Dispute boards löser uppkomna tvister löpande under projektets gång så att dessa inte tillåts växa sig alltför stora eller bli alltför många, samtidigt som parternas samarbete fortskrider utan att tvisten behöver hänskjutas till domstol eller skiljenämnd. En dispute board består i regel av tre opartiska ledamöter, vilka utses när huvudavtalet ingås. Vanligtvis är ledamöterna i nämnden erfarna inom det område som kontraktet rör och experter på de arbeten som omfattas av kontraktet. Ofta är två av ledamöterna ingenjörer eller liknande, medan ordföranden är jurist.

Det grundläggande syftet med detta examensarbete är att placera in dispute boards på den svenska ”konfliktlösningskartan”. Härvid aktualiseras tre huvudsakliga frågeställningar. För det första utreds vilka rättsliga effekter som enligt svensk rätt följer av ett avtal vilket stadgar att uppkomna tvister i första hand ska hänskjutas till prövning av en dispute board. För det andra undersöks vilka rättsliga effekter som enligt svensk rätt följer av ett avgörande av en dispute board. För det tredje utreds huruvida parterna genom avtal kan begränsa möjligheterna att åberopa bevisning från dispute board-förfarandet i en efterföljande prövning inför allmän domstol eller skiljenämnd.

För att besvara dessa tre frågor har det undersökts var gränsen går mellan å ena sidan partsautonomin och den dispositiva avtalsrätten och å andra sidan rättssäkerhetsaspekter och den indispositiva processrätten. Ett dispute board-avtal finns vanligen intaget som ett steg i en multimodal tvistlösningsklausul eller förstegsklausul. Om ett tillfredsställande resultat inte kan uppnås genom dispute board-förfarandet hänskjuts tvisten i nästa steg till domstol eller skiljenämnd, för slutlig prövning. En faktor som har varit av avgörande betydelse för de slutsatser som har nåtts i detta arbete är om det nästföljande steget enligt denna förstegsklausul utgörs av prövning inför allmän domstol eller inför skiljenämnd. I allmän domstol gör sig rättssäkerhetsaspekter och indispositiv processrätt starkt gällande. Skiljeförfarandet är i stället starkt präglat av principen om partsautonomi, vilket innebär att parterna har betydligt större möjligheter att genom avtal förfoga över tvistlösningsförfarandet än som är fallet i den ordinära domstolsprocessen. En allmän slutsats i detta arbete är att dispute board-förfarandet därför regelmässigt bör efterföljas av prövning inför skiljenämnd och inte inför allmän domstol. På så sätt maximeras möjligheterna att uppnå de effekter som eftersträvas med att upprätta en dispute board.

Avseende den första frågeställningen har det konstaterats att ett avtal som stadgar att uppkomna tvister i första hand ska prövas av en dispute board i dagsläget sannolikt inte utgör processhinder i svensk allmän domstol, alldeles oavsett om parterna i avtalet uttryckligen anger att så är fallet. För skiljeförfarandets del är rättsläget mer oklart. Med hänsyn till den internationella utvecklingen och till principen om partsautonomi torde det dock inte vara osannolikt att en tydligt formulerad förstegsklausul, vilken föreskriver att uppkomna tvister i första hand ska prövas av en dispute board, skulle ges verkan som ett tillfälligt, avhjälpbart processhinder av svenska skiljenämnder.

Avseende den andra frågeställningen har det konstaterats att ett dispute board-avgörande som har blivit slutligt och bindande inte kan vara processrättsligt bindande utan enbart civilrättsligt. Avgörandets verkan stannar vid avtalsutfyllnad och saknar rättskraft och exigibilitet. Det kan således inte verkställas exekutivt, till skillnad från en skiljedom. Som en följd av att avgörandet är att likställa med avtalsutfyllnad saknar parterna i princip möjlighet att få innehållet i avgörandet materiellt överprövat, vilket innebär att ett dispute board-avgörande som har blivit slutligt och bindande endast undantagsvis kan angripas med framgång. Beträffande ett dispute board-avgörande som någon av parterna motsatt sig inom föreskriven tid, och som då alltså inte har blivit slutligt och bindande, har konstaterats att avgörandet ändå med stor sannolikhet kommer att upprätthållas i den efterföljande prövningen, på grund av det höga bevisvärde som i allmänhet tillmäts dispute board-avgöranden.

Avseende den tredje och sista frågeställningen har det konstaterats att starka skäl talar för att allmän domstol inte skulle ta hänsyn till ett avtal som syftar till att begränsa parternas möjligheter att åberopa bevisning. Åberopande av bevisning i strid med ett mellan parterna gällande avtal kan i allmän domstol inte motverkas genom processuella sanktioner av bevisföringskaraktär, såsom avvisning av bevisningen. För skiljeförfarandets del är slutsatsen den motsatta. Här gäller att ett sådant avtal som huvudregel ska tillerkännas verkan och att bevisning som åberopas i strid med avtalet alltså ska avvisas av skiljenämnden. (Less)
Abstract
Dispute boards is an alternative dispute resolution method that has emerged since the 1970s. Usually, a dispute board agreement is a part of a mulit-tiered dispute resolution clause, under which dispute board proceedings are a preliminary phase to judicial or arbitral proceedings. Dispute boards are primarily used in large and complex projects continuing for a long period of time, such as infrastructure projects and major construction projects. In such projects, it is often of great importance to quickly resolve disputes arising between the parties. However, the parties typically still want the possibility of an assessment by a court or arbitral tribunal to remain as a last resort.

The purpose of establishing a dispute board is to... (More)
Dispute boards is an alternative dispute resolution method that has emerged since the 1970s. Usually, a dispute board agreement is a part of a mulit-tiered dispute resolution clause, under which dispute board proceedings are a preliminary phase to judicial or arbitral proceedings. Dispute boards are primarily used in large and complex projects continuing for a long period of time, such as infrastructure projects and major construction projects. In such projects, it is often of great importance to quickly resolve disputes arising between the parties. However, the parties typically still want the possibility of an assessment by a court or arbitral tribunal to remain as a last resort.

The purpose of establishing a dispute board is to satisfy the need for an impartial, flexible and fast dispute resolution system in large and complex projects, which under certain conditions is binding upon the parties at the same time as it gives the parties a reasonable opportunity to protect their interests. Dispute boards resolve disputes arising under the ongoing project, so that they are not allowed to grow too large or too many, while the cooperation between the parties proceeds without any interruption. This promotes the continued business relationship between the parties in contrast to being tied up in litigation or arbitration. A dispute board normally consists of three independent and impartial persons selected by the contracting parties. Typically, members of the dispute board are experienced in the field relating to the contract and experts on the work covered by it. Usually, two of the dispute board members are engineers, while the chairman is a lawyer.

The purpose of this thesis is to examine how the concept of dispute boards relates to the Swedish legal system. In this regard three principal questions are analyzed. First, the dispute board agreement is examined, the main question being if it bars legal proceedings before Swedish courts or arbitral tribunals if the claiming party contrary to the contractual provisions has not first referred the dispute to the dispute board. Second, the legal implications of the dispute board decision are examined, the main question being to what extent the parties are bound by it under Swedish law and how it can be overturned. Third and finally, it is examined if the parties, by contractual agreement, can prevent the dispute board decision and testimonies from members of the dispute board from being admissible in subsequent judicial or arbitral proceedings.

In order to answer these questions two conflicting interests have been analyzed: party autonomy and the free right to enter into contract on the one hand and binding procedural law and procedural rights which cannot be waived by contract on the other hand. An element of decisive importance for the conclusions reached in the thesis is whether or not the dispute board agreement is subject to an arbitration clause. In arbitration, due to the basic principle of party autonomy, the parties have far greater authority in determining the procedure to be followed, compared to ordinary court proceedings. Thus, to maximize the possibilities of achieving the desired effects of establishing a dispute board, the dispute board-agreement should routinely be subject to an arbitration clause.

Regarding the first question, it has been found that an agreement which provides that disputes arising between the parties in first instance shall be referred to a dispute board is not likely to bar legal proceedings before Swedish courts, no matter what is stated in the contract. With regard to arbitration, the answer is more uncertain. However, in consideration of international developments and the principle of party autonomy, it is not unlikely that a Swedish arbitral tribunal would temporarily decline jurisdiction if a party had failed to first refer the dispute to the dispute board in accordance with the contract.

Regarding the second question, it has been concluded that a dispute board decision, which is to be considered final and binding upon the parties, is of contractual nature only. Hence, the decision is not directly enforceable, in contrast to an arbitral award. As a consequence of the fact that the dispute board decision is of contractual nature, the chances of having any material question that have been decided in the proceedings overturned are slim. It is further concluded that regarding a dispute board decision, which is not to be considered final and binding, the decision is nevertheless highly likely to be confirmed in the subsequent judicial or arbitral proceedings, due to the high evidentiary value generally given to dispute board decisions.

Regarding the third and final question, strong reasons suggest that Swedish courts would disregard an agreement that restricts the parties‟ possibilities of invoking evidence. Hence, evidence that is invoked in violation with the provisions of such an agreement is nevertheless admissible in the court proceedings. As to arbitration, the conclusion is the opposite. Accordingly, such an agreement should as a general rule be given effect. Evidence that is invoked in violation with the provisions of the agreement should therefore be considered inadmissible by Swedish arbitral tribunals. (Less)
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author
Bernström, Joachim LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM01 20102
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Processrätt, Dispute board, ADR, Skiljemannarätt
language
Swedish
id
1782170
date added to LUP
2011-02-09 14:26:25
date last changed
2011-02-09 14:26:25
@misc{1782170,
  abstract     = {Dispute boards is an alternative dispute resolution method that has emerged since the 1970s. Usually, a dispute board agreement is a part of a mulit-tiered dispute resolution clause, under which dispute board proceedings are a preliminary phase to judicial or arbitral proceedings. Dispute boards are primarily used in large and complex projects continuing for a long period of time, such as infrastructure projects and major construction projects. In such projects, it is often of great importance to quickly resolve disputes arising between the parties. However, the parties typically still want the possibility of an assessment by a court or arbitral tribunal to remain as a last resort.

The purpose of establishing a dispute board is to satisfy the need for an impartial, flexible and fast dispute resolution system in large and complex projects, which under certain conditions is binding upon the parties at the same time as it gives the parties a reasonable opportunity to protect their interests. Dispute boards resolve disputes arising under the ongoing project, so that they are not allowed to grow too large or too many, while the cooperation between the parties proceeds without any interruption. This promotes the continued business relationship between the parties in contrast to being tied up in litigation or arbitration. A dispute board normally consists of three independent and impartial persons selected by the contracting parties. Typically, members of the dispute board are experienced in the field relating to the contract and experts on the work covered by it. Usually, two of the dispute board members are engineers, while the chairman is a lawyer.

The purpose of this thesis is to examine how the concept of dispute boards relates to the Swedish legal system. In this regard three principal questions are analyzed. First, the dispute board agreement is examined, the main question being if it bars legal proceedings before Swedish courts or arbitral tribunals if the claiming party contrary to the contractual provisions has not first referred the dispute to the dispute board. Second, the legal implications of the dispute board decision are examined, the main question being to what extent the parties are bound by it under Swedish law and how it can be overturned. Third and finally, it is examined if the parties, by contractual agreement, can prevent the dispute board decision and testimonies from members of the dispute board from being admissible in subsequent judicial or arbitral proceedings.

In order to answer these questions two conflicting interests have been analyzed: party autonomy and the free right to enter into contract on the one hand and binding procedural law and procedural rights which cannot be waived by contract on the other hand. An element of decisive importance for the conclusions reached in the thesis is whether or not the dispute board agreement is subject to an arbitration clause. In arbitration, due to the basic principle of party autonomy, the parties have far greater authority in determining the procedure to be followed, compared to ordinary court proceedings. Thus, to maximize the possibilities of achieving the desired effects of establishing a dispute board, the dispute board-agreement should routinely be subject to an arbitration clause.

Regarding the first question, it has been found that an agreement which provides that disputes arising between the parties in first instance shall be referred to a dispute board is not likely to bar legal proceedings before Swedish courts, no matter what is stated in the contract. With regard to arbitration, the answer is more uncertain. However, in consideration of international developments and the principle of party autonomy, it is not unlikely that a Swedish arbitral tribunal would temporarily decline jurisdiction if a party had failed to first refer the dispute to the dispute board in accordance with the contract.

Regarding the second question, it has been concluded that a dispute board decision, which is to be considered final and binding upon the parties, is of contractual nature only. Hence, the decision is not directly enforceable, in contrast to an arbitral award. As a consequence of the fact that the dispute board decision is of contractual nature, the chances of having any material question that have been decided in the proceedings overturned are slim. It is further concluded that regarding a dispute board decision, which is not to be considered final and binding, the decision is nevertheless highly likely to be confirmed in the subsequent judicial or arbitral proceedings, due to the high evidentiary value generally given to dispute board decisions.

Regarding the third and final question, strong reasons suggest that Swedish courts would disregard an agreement that restricts the parties‟ possibilities of invoking evidence. Hence, evidence that is invoked in violation with the provisions of such an agreement is nevertheless admissible in the court proceedings. As to arbitration, the conclusion is the opposite. Accordingly, such an agreement should as a general rule be given effect. Evidence that is invoked in violation with the provisions of the agreement should therefore be considered inadmissible by Swedish arbitral tribunals.},
  author       = {Bernström, Joachim},
  keyword      = {Processrätt,Dispute board,ADR,Skiljemannarätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Dispute boards placering på den svenska konfliktlösningskartan},
  year         = {2011},
}