Federal Tribunal upholds CAS Award suspending Russian Paralympic Committee
Judgment of April 3, 2017
First Civil Law Court
Federal Judge Kiss, presiding,
Federal Judge Klett,
Federal Judge Hohl,
Federal Judge Niquille,
Federal Judge May Canellas,
Clerk of the Court: Mr. Leemann.
Russian Paralympic Committee,
represented by Dr. Lucien W. Valloni and Dmitry A. Pentsov,
International Paralympic Committee,
represented by Philippe Vladimir Boss,
A.a. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC, Respondent) whose registered office is in Bonn, Germany, is the world association for sports for the disabled. It organises the Paralympic Summer and Winter Games and simultaneously acts as an international association for the widest variety of sporting disciplines, in which it coordinates and oversees world championships and other competitions. By contrast with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the National Paralympic Committees, disabled sport organisations, international disabled sport associations and regional organisations are members of and belong to the IPC.
The Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC, Appellant) is the Russian national organisation for sport for the disabled. Its members include Russian sport and fitness organisations, other charitable organisations registered in Russia and Russian citizens.
A.b. On July 18, 2016, the independent investigative report which the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had commissioned from Prof. Richard McLaren (McLaren Report) was published. That report noted that, based on the evidence available, it had been established beyond any doubt that at least during the period from the end of 2011 and August 2015, Russian officials had developed, introduced and managed state doping programs. Russian disabled athletes had, it said, also benefited from that doping programme.
By letter dated July 22, 2016, the IPC informed the RPC that proceedings regarding suspension of its membership rights had been opened, on the basis of a (non-exhaustive) list of seven facts which were said to follow from the McLaren Report.
By letter dated July 28, 2016, the IPC requested, inter alia, the RPC’s consent to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) acting as an Appellate Tribunal under Article 126.96.36.199. of the IPC Policy of Suspension of Member Organisations).
Likewise, on July 28, 2016, the RPC requested an oral hearing from the Board of the IPC, indicating to the IPC the names of its delegation members. With respect to the proposed arbitration agreement, the RPC stated that it wished to initially await the decision on suspension.
On July 29, 2016, the RPC commented on the seven facts listed in the IPC’s letter of July 22, 2016, disputing these.
By letter of August 1, 2016, the IPC submitted various additional questions, which the RPC answered by letter dated August 3, 2016.
On August 3, 2016, a seven-member delegation of the RPC visited the IPC’s headquarters in order to make an oral presentation of its position. Twelve of the fifteen members of the IPC’s Board attended this hearing.
Following further correspondence and a written warning, on August 7, 2016, the IPC suspended the RPC’s membership rights with immediate effect; the grounds of justification given for this were that the RPC was incapable of complying with its obligations as a member, in particular with its duty to adhere to the IPC’s anti-doping code and the WADA code. As a consequence of suspension, the RPC was no longer able to field athletes for IPC competitions, one particular example being the pending Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
On August 11, 2016, the Parties concluded an arbitration agreement in favour of CAS; Section 4 of that Agreement provided as follows:
Pursuant to Article R58 of the CAS Code, the CAS Panel will decide the dispute according to the applicable regulations (including, without limitation, the IPC Constitution, the IPC Bylaws and the IPC Policy on Suspension of an IPC Member Organisation) and, subsidiarily, to Swiss law (save for specific issues on the interpretation of the relevant governing documentation where, in the opinion of the Panel, it is more appropriate and natural to defer to the position under German Law; being the law that governs the establishment of the IPC and gives it legal personality).
In addition, the Parties agreed to a schedule for the course of the proceedings.
On August 15, 2016, the RPC challenged the IPC’s decision of August 7, 2016 by appeal filed with the CAS.
On August 2, 2016, an oral hearing took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At the outset of that hearing, the Parties confirmed that they had no objection to the composition of the Tribunal or to the manner in which the proceedings were being conducted. In addition, the RPC retracted its procedural application requesting an order requiring the IPC, WADA and the McLaren investigative team to disclose various items of evidence from the McLaren investigative report; it acknowledged that the IPC had complied with the order requested.
By Award dated August 23, 2016, the CAS rejected the Appeal filed by the RPC and confirmed the IPC’s decision of August 7, 2016.
By civil law appeal (supplemented within the period for appeal), the RPC applied to the Federal Tribunal to set aside the CAS Award of August 23, 2016, and to refer the matter back to the Arbitral Tribunal for a new decision.
The Respondent requests the Federal Tribunal an order finding that the matter is not capable of appeal; in the alternative, it requests an order rejecting the appeal. The CAS requests that the Federal Tribunal reject the appeal.
The Appellant has submitted a Reply Brief to the Federal Tribunal, and the Respondent has filed a Rejoinder.
By order of the presiding judge dated August 30, 2016, the Appellant’s request for an immediately enforceable and interim grant of suspensory effect and for the grant of immediately enforceable and interim injunctive relief was rejected.
By order of the presiding judge dated January 20, 2017, the Appellant’s request for a grant of suspensory effect for purposes of reconsideration and for the grant of interim injunctive relief for purposes of reconsideration was rejected.
Pursuant to Art. 54(1) BGG2, the judgement of the Federal Tribunal is issued in an official language, as a rule in the language of the decision under appeal. Where the decision is in another language, the Federal Tribunal resorts to the language used by the Parties. The challenged decision was written in the English language. As English is not one of the official languages, the Parties used German (Appellant) and French (Respondent) in their submissions filed with the Federal Tribunal, in accordance with Art. 42(1) BGG in conjunction with Art. 70(1) BV3, the decision of the Federal Tribunal will be issued in the language of the Appeal Brief, in accordance with practice (BGE 142 III 521 at 1).
In the field of international arbitration, a Civil law appeal is allowed pursuant to the requirements of Art. 190-192 PILA4 (SR 291) (Art. 77(1)(a) BGG).
2.1. The seat of the Arbitral Tribunal is in Lausanne. Both Parties had their seat outside Switzerland at the time (Art. 176(1) PILA). As the Parties did not expressly opt out of the provisions of Chapter 12 PILA, the provisions of that Chapter are applicable (Art. 176(2) PILA).
2.2. A matter is only capable of appeal if the Appellant is particularly affected by the decision being challenged and has an interest worthy of protection in the setting aside or amendment of the challenged decision (Art. 76(1)(b) BGG).
The Respondent incorrectly raises the plea that the Appellant lacks an interest worthy of protection as regards the setting aside or amendment of the challenged decision. The fact that the 2016 Paralympic Games have, in the interim, been carried out does nothing to change the fact that the Appellant’s membership is still suspended and it thus continues to be unable to exercise the rights associated with its Association membership. Accordingly, the Appellant is particularly affected by the challenged arbitral award confirming its suspension and has an interest worthy of protection as regards its annulment (see BGE 140 III 92 at 1.1; 133 III 421 at 1.1 p.425). The objection of the Respondent that the Appellant is not entitled to rely on certain rights asserted by the Appellant and/or that the relevant provisions are inapplicable does not impinge on the question of whether the matter is capable of appeal, but rather these are questions for substantive review.
2.3. The decision may only be challenged on one of the grounds which are exhaustively enumerated in Art. 190(2) PILA (BGE 134 III 186 at 5, p. 187; 128 III 50 at 1a, p. 53; 127 III 279 at 1a, p.282). Under Art. 77(3) BGG, the Federal Tribunal reviews only the grievances raised and reasoned in the appellate brief; this corresponds to the duty to provide reasons in Art. 106(2) BGG for the violation of constitutional rights and of cantonal and intercantonal law (BGE 134 III 186 at 5, p187, with references). Criticisms of an appellate nature are inadmissible (BGE 134 III 565 at 3.1, p.567; 119 II 380 at 3b, p.382).
2.4. The Federal Tribunal bases its judgement on the factual findings of the arbitral tribunal (Art. 105(1) BGG). This includes the findings as to the life circumstances which are the basis of the dispute and those as to the course of the previous proceedings, i.e. the findings as to the subject of the case, to which belong, in particular, the submissions of the Parties, their factual allegations, legal arguments, procedural statements and offers of evidence, the contents of a witness statement, an expert report, or the findings as to a visual inspection (BGE 140 III 16 at 1.3.1 with references). The Federal Tribunal may not rectify or supplement the factual findings of the arbitral tribunal, even where they are blatantly inaccurate or based on a violation of the law within the meaning of Art. 95 BGG (see Art. 77(2) BGG, ruling out the applicability of Art. 97 BGG and Art. 105(2) BGG). However, the Federal Tribunal may review the factual findings of the arbitral award under appeal when some admissible grievances within the meaning of Art. 190(2) PILA are raised against them or, exceptionally, when new evidence is taken into consideration (BGE 138 III 29 at 2.2.1, p. 34; 134 III 565 at 3.1, p. 567; 133 III 139 at 5, p. 141; each with references). Whoever wishes to claim an exception to the rule that the Federal Tribunal is bound by the factual findings of the arbitral tribunal and seeks to rectify or supplement the factual findings on that basis must show with precise reference to the record that the corresponding factual obligations were already made in the arbitral proceedings in accordance with the usual rules (see BGE 115 II 484 at 2a, p. 486; BGE 111 II 471 at 1c, p. 473; both with references; see also BGE 140 III 86 at 2, p. 90).
2.5. The appeal must be fully submitted within the time limit for appeal, with a fully reasoned appellate brief (Art. 42(1) BGG). If there is a second round of pleadings, the Appellant may not use its Reply to supplement or improve its appeal (see BGE 132 I 42 at 3.3.4). The Reply may only be used to comment on the statements made in the Answer of another participant of the proceedings (see BGE 135 I 19 at 2.2).
To the extent that the Appellant goes further in its Reply, its submissions cannot be taken into account.
2.6. The Appellant fails to recognise the principles referred to where it prefaces its legal submissions with a detailed description of the procedural history and the facts of the case in which it refers to the broadest variety of documents in describing the course of the proceedings and the background to the litigation from its own perspective, thereby departing in various ways or expanding on the findings of fact made in the decision challenged here without making any substantiated claims that exceptions to the principle that the Court is bound by the findings of fact of the case should apply.
In its further Grounds of Appeal, the Appellant likewise argues, in part, its view of matters to the Federal Tribunal, departing from the findings of fact of the previous instance, or expanding on them without satisfying the statutory requirements for a legally sufficient objection to fact-finding. This is particularly the case in connection with its remarks on public policy, in which it opines, for example, on the extent of the participation of Russian para-athletes in the State doping program or on the alleged motives of the Respondent. The remarks in question cannot be given any consideration
The Appellant argues in various respects that the Arbitral Tribunal violated its right to be heard (Art. 190(2)(d) PILA).
3.1. Art. 190(2)(d) PILA only permits parties to challenge an arbitral award based on the mandatory procedural rules set out in Art. 182(3) PILA. Pursuant to those rules, the arbitral tribunal must, in particular, safeguard the Parties’ right to be heard. This essentially corresponds to the constitutional right embodied in Art. 29(2) BV. Case law infers from this, in particular, the right of the Parties to state their views as to all facts important to the judgement, to state their legal arguments, to present suitable arguments supporting their factual allegations relevant to the judgement in the timely manner and in the proper format, to participate in the hearings and to access the record (BGE 142 III 360 at 4.1.1; 130 III 35 at 5 p.38; 127 III 576 at 2c; all with references).
By contrast, and under well-established case law, the right to a legal hearing in adversarial proceedings under Art. 182(3) and Art. 190(2)(d) PILA does not include the right to a reasoned international arbitral award (BGE 134 III 186 at 6.1 with references). However, this right does entail a minimum duty by the arbitrators to examine and deal with the pertinent issues. An arbitral tribunal violates that duty if, due to an oversight or misunderstanding, it fails to take into account some allegations, arguments, evidence and offers of evidence submitted by one of the parties and relevant to the decision to be issued. However, this does not meant that the arbitral tribunal must expressly deal with each individual argument of the parties (BGE 142 III 360 at 4.1.1; 133 III 235 at 5.2 with references).
3.2. The Appellant’s objection is that the Arbitral Tribunal failed to consider material allegations and arguments, in violation of the Appellant’s right to be heard.
In the course of examining the proportionality of suspension of the membership rights, the Arbitral Tribunal considered that the Russian para-athletes were not parties to the arbitration; the Arbitral Tribunal stated that it was not called upon to decide questions regarding the rights of athletes that are not derived from the rights of the Appellant, but to which they were originally entitled, such as “rights of natural justice”, rights of personality or the right of equal opportunity as compared with non-disabled Russian athletes in respect of participation at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, pursuant to a decision by the IOC dated July 24, 2016.
The Arbitral Tribunal stated that the fact that the Appellant’s suspension had repercussions on the Russian para-athletes was a logical consequence of the fact that the Articles of Association of the Respondent provided for membership of legal entities (in the form of national sporting associations); however, it stated that this fact on its own did nothing to change the responsibility of any such member to comply with the obligations imposed by the Articles. The tribunal found that it was a part of the essence of the rights of personality and the “rights of natural justice” that they could not, as a basic principle, be separated from the original right-holder and transferred to others; for this reason, the Arbitral Tribunal found, the Appellant could not assert the individual rights of individual athletes in its own name. The Appellant does not demonstrate to what extent it would have been prevented from asserting its position in the proceedings. Contrary to its assertion, the Arbitral Tribunal did not, for example, refuse to deal with its arguments. To the contrary: the remarks set out in the Appeal Brief as well as the reasons it quotes from the challenged arbitral award reveal that the Arbitral Tribunal did deal with the objections raised against the suspension but considered them to be legally insufficient. There has been no violation of the right to be heard within the meaning of Art. 190(2)(d) PILA.
3.3. The Appellant similarly fails to demonstrate any violation of its right to be heard where it refers to the Arbitral Tribunal’s position finding that it was not entitled to assert the rights of individual athletes as untenable, referring to various legal opinions. In its remarks on Swiss law (Art. 27-28 ZGB5, the Law of Associations under Arts. 60 et seq 60 and the Right of Suit on the Part of an Association under Art. 89 ZPO) as well as on Russian law (Arts. 65, 182 and 1202 of the Russian Civil Code, Art. 61 of the Russian Constitution and Russian Federal Act No. 329 of December 4, 2007 on physical culture and sport in the Russian Federation, and the Russian Federal Act No. 82 on May 19, 1995 on public associations) which are supposed to show that the Appellant was “most definitely able to assert the rights of individual athletes”, it merely impermissibly criticises the Arbitral Tribunal’s application of the law. The grievance asserted that there has been a violation of the right to be heard is thus revealed to be unfounded in this context, as well.
The same applies with the respect to the Appellant’s separate argument that, contrary to the challenged decision, it is entitled under Swiss law to assert both the personality rights and the “natural justice rights” of the individual athletes, in addition, with its reference to the two arbitral awards CAS OG 16/013 of August 4, 2016, in the matter of Anastasia Karabelshikova and Ivan Podshivalov v. Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d'Aviron (FISA) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as well as OG 16/004 of August 5, 2016 in the matter of Yulia Efimova v. Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA), that in both of those arbitrations, the athletes listed had participated in the proceedings as parties and accordingly were able to assert their own rights; this is entirely in contrast to the present arbitration, in which the individual athletes were not involved as parties. In the specific case to be assessed here, accordingly, the legal position at the outset differs fundamentally from the decisions referred to in the Appeal Brief, for which reason it is impossible, from the very outset, to infer anything in favour of the Appellant from them. To the contrary, what this shows is that the individual athletes’ individual rights would need to have been asserted by those athletes themselves; the question of to what extent they would have been prevented from asserting their own claims is not a point on which the Appellant makes any submissions. Rather, in its Reply Brief, in response to an assertion along these lines in the Answer to the Appeal it acknowledges this, stating that numerous para-athletes had pursued civil proceedings in Germany against the Respondent in their own name to assert their individual rights and that the proceedings in question were in fact pending.
In addition, the Appellant also fails to recognise that in Appellate proceedings before the Federal Tribunal, the athletes are not parties to the proceedings and it is unable to rely on any violation of the right of third persons to be heard. The grievance asserted of a violation of the right to be heard fails in this respect, as well.
3.4. To the extent that the Appellant, referring to confidentiality concerns, expresses doubts on the evidentiary value of Prof. McLaren’s statements, it is merely criticising the evidentiary findings of the Arbitral Tribunal in an appellate context. The findings of fact of the challenged decision support neither the Appellant’s assertion made before the Federal Tribunal that the Respondent expressly acknowledged during the oral hearings that the Parties had not had all the of the information used in preparing the report in question, nor its argument that Prof. McLaren had expressly pointed out that based on his duties of confidentiality he could not serve as a witness; those findings of fact are binding on the Federal Tribunal (Art. 105(1) BGG). Rather, the Arbitral Tribunal expressly found that the Appellant had waived its right to request cross-examination of Prof. McLaren, although the opportunity to do so was offered to it. The Appellant does not make clear how it was supposed to have been prevented in the arbitration from making submissions on its views regarding McLaren’s statement and their evidentiary value. The fact that the Arbitral Tribunal did not share the view expressed by the Appellant on the evidentiary value of McLaren’s remarks cannot be regarded as a violation of its right to be heard.
In addition, the Appellant fails to recognise that the evidentiary principles in the sphere of civil law – even where disciplinary measures of private sporting associations are at issue – cannot be assessed in the light of criminal law concepts such as the presumption of innocence or the guarantees emanating from the EHRC, as the Federal Tribunal has confirmed in various cases, particularly in cases of doping infringements (Judgements 4A_178/2014 of June 11, 2014 at 5.2; 4A_448/2013 of March 27, 2014 at 3.3; 4A_488/2011 of June 18, 2012 at 6.2; 4A_612/2009 of February 10, 2010 at 6.3.2; 5P.83/1999 of March 31, 1999 at 3d).
In its arguments that the Arbitral Tribunal had incorrectly apportioned the burden of proof and had violated the presumption of innocence which it incidentally repeats in the Grounds of Appeal in connection with public policy, the Appellant fails to identify any of the grounds of appeal provided under Art. 190(2) PILA.
The Appellant raises the grievance that the challenged arbitral award is incompatible with public policy (Art. 190(2)(e) PILA).
4.1. The judicial review of an international arbitral award by the Federal Tribunal is limited to the issue of whether or not the award is consistent with public policy (BGE 121 III 331 at 3a p.333). The adjudication of the merits of a claim violates public policy only when it disregards some legal principles and therefore becomes incompatible with the essential and widely recognised values which, according to concepts prevailing in Switzerland, should be the basis of any legal order. Among such principles are the fidelity to contracts (pacta sunt servanda), the prohibition on the abuse of human rights, the principle of good faith, the prohibition of expropriation without compensation, the prohibition on discrimination and the protection of those lacking capacity, as well as the prohibition on excessive obligations (see Art. 27(2) ZGB) where this represents a manifest and serious violation of personality rights. An annulment of the award under appeal will only take place where its result and not merely its reasons contradict public policy (BGE 138 III 322 at 4.1 as well as at 4.3.1/4.3.2; 132 III 389 at 2.2 p.392 et seq.; each with references).
4.2. The Appellant argues that the Arbitral Tribunal violates public policy in its reasoning by holding that the Appellant is not entitled to assert certain individual rights of the individual para-athletes itself. It argues that this “grossly negates the personality rights and other fundamental rights of vulnerable, helpless para-athletes although these persons should, per se, be given greater protection and although it is precisely the meaning and purpose of the right of an association to file a lawsuit to provide the financial means to vulnerable persons (who are themselves rarely in a position to do so) to muster the psychological strength to pursue litigation in their own name”. Apart from the fact that the decision under appeal does not contain any findings (see Art. 105(1) BGG) as to how the individual athletes are supposedly unable, for financial, psychological or other reasons, to assert their rights in their own names, and the Appellant – as noted (at 3.3) – itself confirmed before the Federal Tribunal that proceedings of this kind were being pursued, it neither demonstrates any fundamental and generally recognised legal principle which was disregarded in this specific case, either with its mere reference to the Swiss law governing the right of an association to litigate under Art. 89 ZPO, or the measures provided under Art. 8(4) BV to illuminate disadvantages to the disabled or the United Nations Convention of December 13, 2016 on the rights of the disabled (SR 0.109).
The Appellant makes do with very general allegations that it is an inherent principle in all legal systems that “disabled persons [must] enjoy increased protections”, but it fails to sufficiently justify how – independent of the specifically applicable law – any claim should exist on the part of an association based on public policy entitling it to assert the personality rights of its members in litigation, let alone how, in assessing the proportionality of suspending an association member, the Court should weigh the interests of its members. The Appellant rightly does not assert that the Arbitral Tribunal disregarded the need to protect the legally incapacitated persons, which the jurisprudence of the Federal Tribunal finds to constitute public policy.
Independent of these points, the objection of discrimination raised in the Appeal Brief in that same context relative to Russian athletes who have no disability misses the mark: first of all, the Respondent is an association which is legally independent of the IOC, for which reason it is not immediately obvious nor is it explained in the Appeal Brief under what legal basis the Appellant would have to regard its decisions – specifically: the decision of July 24, 2016, at issue here – and would have to give equal treatment to the athletes falling within its sphere of responsibility as athletes covered by the IOC would be treated by the IOC.
In addition, the Appellant, in its reference to the two arbitral awards of the CAS dated August 4, 2016 in the matter of Anastasia Karabelshikova and Ivan Podshivalov v. FISA and IOC (OG 16/013) and of August 5, 16/004) in the matter of Yulia Efimova v. ROC, IOC and FINA (OG 16/004), once again overlooks the fact that the athletes referred to – in contrast with the present case – each participated as parties to the arbitration and accordingly were asserting their own rights. It should be added that the Arbitral Tribunal did not, for example, deny the individual para-athletes their right to judicially assert their rights of personality or “rights of natural justice” vis-à-vis the Respondent, but rather emphasised that the athletes had not participated in the arbitration as parties and that their corresponding rights were not the subject of those proceedings.
The objection that there has been a violation of public policy is unfounded.
4.3. The Appellant furthermore argues that there has been a violation of the prohibition on abuse of law but in its relevant remarks is merely impermissibly criticising the decision under Appeal where it submits its view on the alleged motives of the Respondent for the suspension to the Arbitral Tribunal, referring to a brief from the arbitration as well as the audio recordings of the oral hearing, in order to use this as a basis to call into question the proportionality and, generally, the legality of that measure. In saying this, it fails to grasp the legal scope of the prohibition on the abuse of law, in the context of the Grounds of Appeal, articulated in Art. 190(2)(e) PILA.
The objection that there has been a violation of public policy is unfounded in this respect, as well.
4.4. To the extent that the challenged arbitral award prevents the Appellant from asserting the personality rights or “rights of natural justice” of the individual para-athletes in its own name vis-à-vis the Respondent, the grievances asserted are shown to be unfounded, to the extent they are even admissible under Art. 190(2) PILA. There is thus no need for the Federal Tribunal to delve into the further arguments in the Appeal Brief in which the Appellant – in deviation from the challenged decision – refers to these individual rights, and asserts, by reference to Art. 190(2)(e) PILA, that the exclusion from international competitions, and the allegedly associated “professional ban in the nature of a penal sanction” or the “collective sanction” imposed, represented a violation of the personality rights of the athletes under Art. 27-28 ZGB.
The Appeal is rejected, to the extent the matter is capable of appeal. In accordance with the outcome of the case, the Appellant shall be liable to pay costs and compensation (Art. 66(1) and Art. 68(2) BGG).
Therefore, the Federal Tribunal pronounces:
The Appeal is rejected, to the extent the matter is capable of appeal.
The judicial costs of CHF 10’000 shall be paid by the Appellant.
The Appellant shall pay party compensation to the Respondent of CHF 12,000 for the proceedings before the Federal Tribunal.
This Decision shall be notified in writing to the Parties and to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Lausanne, April 3, 2017
In the name of the First Civil Law Court of the Swiss Federal Tribunal
Presiding judge: Clerk of the Court:Kiss (Mrs.) Leemann (Mr.)
- 1. Translator’s Note: Quote as X.________ v. Y.________, 4A_470/2016. The decision was issued in German. The full text is available on the website of the Federal Tribunal, www.bger.ch.
- 2. Translator’s Note: BGG is the most commonly used German abbreviation for the Federal law of June 6, 2005organizing the Federal Tribunal (RS 173.110).
- 3. Translator’s Note: BV is the German abbreviation for the Swiss Constitution.
- 4. Translator’s Note: PILA is the most frequently used English abbreviation for the Federal Statute on InternationalPrivate Law of December 18, 1987.
- 5. Translator’s Note: ZGB refers to the Swiss Civil Code.