Guimarães Court of Appeal
Case Nr. 1387/11.5TBBCL-B.G1
The state court is competent to decide the validity of the arbitration agreement if that validity is the subject matter of the dispute brought to the court.
1. In order to determine the nature of the subject matter at issue, it is necessary to consider the pleadings, in particular the “petendi causa” and the relief sought as it was drafted in the statement of claim lodged before the court, since it will be those elements to determine the decision to make.
2. If the petitioner pleads that the arbitration clause inserted in the interest rate swaps agreement was not entered into in a free and informed manner, the state court of first instance is competent to decide upon that issue. Therefore, the procedural objection based on the arbitration agreement (set forth in Art. 494(j) of the Code of Civil Procedure) must not prevail, and shall not apply to the case where the validity of the main contract is discussed.