US-Supreme Court: Schranken für Class-Arbitration

STOLT-NIELSEN S. A. ET AL. v. ANIMALFEEDS IN-TERNATIONAL CORP.
Für Unternehmen relevant, die in ihren Verträgen  Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit vereinbart haben – es besteht gegebenenfalls dennoch der Zwang zur Beachtung des U.S. Federal Arbitration Act bei Lücken. Aus den Urteilsgründen:

“Imposing class arbitration on parties who have not agreed to authorize class arbitration is inconsistent with the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), 9 U. S. C. §1 et seq. Pp. 7–23.
(a) The arbitration panel exceeded its powers by imposing its own policy choice instead of identifying and applying a rule of decision de-rived from the FAA or from maritime or New York law. Pp. 7–12.
(1) An arbitration decision may be vacated under FAA §10(a)(4)on the ground that the arbitrator exceeded his powers, “only when[an] arbitrator strays from interpretation and application of theagreement and effectively ‘dispense[s] his own brand of industrialjustice,’ ” Major League Baseball Players Assn. v. Garvey, 532 U. S. 504, 509 (per curiam), for an arbitrator’s task is to interpret and en-force a contract, not to make public policy. P. 7.
(2) The arbitration panel appears to have rested its decision on AnimalFeeds’ public policy argument for permitting class arbitrationunder the charter party’s arbitration clause. However, because the parties agreed that their agreement was “silent” on the class arbitra-tion issue, the arbitrators’ proper task was to identify the rule of law governing in that situation. Instead, the panel based its decision on post-Bazzle arbitral decisions without mentioning whether they werebased on a rule derived from the FAA or on maritime or New York law. Rather than inquiring whether those bodies of law contained a “default rule” permitting an arbitration clause to allow class arbitration absent express consent, the panel proceeded as if it had a common-law court’s authority to develop what it viewed as the best rule for such a situation…”

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