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Supreme Court of Justice (Portugal)| State Courts are not Competent to Decide the Validity of the Arbitration Agreement | 02-06-2015 | Case #073

Supreme Court of Justice
Date: 02-06-2015
Case Nr. 1279/14.6TVLSB.S1

The arbitral tribunal is competent to decide the validity of the arbitration agreement, unless such invalidity is blatant.

1. Given that the parties have agreed on arbitration to solve any dispute arising out of the contract they have entered into, and the lawsuit has been brought before the state courts, there has been a violation of the said clause which entails the absolute lack of jurisdiction of the state court, as follows from the provisions of Art. 96(b) of the Code of Civil Procedure. This is a procedural objection (Art. 577(a) of the Code of Civil Procedure) and, accordingly, the court can not decide on the merits of the case and must dismiss the lawsuit.
2. The court of law can only refrain from dismissing the case if the clause is manifestly and patently invalid or unenforceable, which is not the case.