The minimum local contract doctrine

The Swiss Federal Court has heard[1] an application by a corporation domiciled in Guernsey for the attachment of real estate, located in Switzerland, belonging to the Republic of Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan has opposed the application claiming sovereign immunity.

The Applicant argued that its title, an award by a tribunal sitting in Paris, was sufficient to authorize attachment since all the requirements under the New York 1958 Convention existed.

The case has gone from the District Court up to the Supreme Court.

That Court has rejected the application, on the ground that - even the requirements for enforcement of a foreign award are governed by the New York Convention - as to the merits of the application - the issue of admissibility of such an application and therefore of jurisdiction was governed, under art. III of that Convention, by the law of the place where its enforcement was sought.

The Court concluded that, under Swiss law, jurisdiction on such applications exists only if there is a minimum domestic connection of the legal relationship in issue with the Swiss territory, a requirement which in that dispute was not existing.

The application was then dismissed.


[1] By judgment 27 September 2018, BGE-5A 942/2017.

Share this article

Share on print
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Marketing Permission
Cour Européenne d'Arbitrage will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:
You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.