BG Group PLC v. Republic of Argentina: a comparative legal analysis between United States & swiss arbitration law regarding procedural preconditions

AuthorJuan Carlos Arce
PositionJuris Doctor Candidate, May 2017
Pages46-55
BG GROUP PLC V. REPUBLIC OF ARGENTINA
: A COMPARATIVE LEGAL
ANALYSIS BETWEEN UNITED STATES & SWISS ARBITRATION LAW
REGARDING PROCEDURAL PRECONDITIONS
JUAN CARLOS ARCE*
I. Introduction ................................................................................................................................................... 46
II. United States Arbitration Law ................................................................................................................. 46
A. The Federal Arbitration Act ................................................................................................................. 46
III. The Case of
BG Group v. Republic of Argentina
................................................................................ 47
A. The Final Award ..................................................................................................................................... 47
B. Supreme Court Decision ....................................................................................................................... 50
C. The Dissident Opinion .......................................................................................................................... 50
IV. Swiss Arbitration Law ................................................................................................................................ 51
A. The Swiss Private International Law Act ......................................................................................... 52
B. Swiss Jurisprudence ............................................................................................................................... 53
V. BG Group PLC under Swiss Arbitration Law ...................................................................................... 55
VI. Conclusion .................................................................................................................................................... 55
I. INTRODUCTION
The main objective of this article is to develop a comparative legal analysis between U.S.
Arbitration Law and Swiss Arbitration Law regarding the doctrine established by the U.S.
Supreme Court in its recent decision in
BG Group PLC v. Republic of Argentina
.1 This legal
research paper will first center on how U.S. Arbitration Law manages procedural arbitration
preconditions stemming from treaty provisions in light of
BG Group
.2 Thereafter, this analysis
will focus on the same legal issue under Swiss Arbitration Law regarding how it treats arbitration
procedural preconditions.3 Lastly, this paper will explore how
BG Group PLC v. Republic of
Argentina
would have been decided under Swiss Arbitration Law if it would have been appealed
to the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland in
lieu
of the Supreme Court of the United States.
II. UNITED STATES ARBITRATION LAW
A. The Federal Arbitration Act
United States Arbitration Law — federal, not state — is governed by the
Federal
Arbitration Act
(FAA).4 With the enactment of the FAA, “Congress declared a national policy
favoring arbitration and withdrew the power of the states to require a judicial forum for the
resolution of claims which the contracting parties agreed to resolve by arbitration.”5 The FAA “is
based upon . . . the incontestable federal foundations of ‘control over interstate commerce and over
admiralty.’”6 Section 2 of the FAA therefore limits the scope of its application to a “written
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* Juris Doctor Candidate, May 2017.
1 BG Grp. PLC v. Republic of Arg., 572 U.S. ___, 134 S.Ct. 1198 (2014).
2
Id.
3 The author chose to perform the analysis using Swiss Law due to its attractiveness and importance in international
commercial arbitration as well as international investment arbitration.
4 9 U.S.C. §§ 116 (2017).
5 Southland Corp. v. Keating, 465 U.S. 1, 10 (1984).
6
Id.
at 11 (citing Prima Paint Corp. v. Flood & Conklin Mfg. Co., 388 U.S. 395 (1967)).

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