Latin American Arbitral Institutions Guide and Scoreboard

The era of Latin American arbitral institutions is here to stay. Building on a strong legal framework, arbitral institutions have emerged throughout the region and now in the Caribbean. Parties large and small, from Latin America and beyond have increasingly turned to these institutions, as well as international institutions, to resolve their disputes.

Commercial arbitration, both domestic and transnational, is an important component of the business environment in Latin America, and has since the 1990s led to a proliferation of arbitral institutions in Latin American countries. Until the inaugural publication of the ITA’s Latin American Arbitral Institutions Guide in 2011, there was no single publicly-available resource identifying the histories, commonalities, and practices of the Latin American institutions. In July of 2023, the Americas Initiative of the ITA issued its latest version of the Guide. The 2023 Guide identified more than 170 arbitral bodies, and presented findings on their history, caseload, whether parties are private or public, where proceedings are administered, and whether there are arbitrator requirements for 30 such institutions in 20 different countries. In addition, the work included information on each country’s relevant laws and treaties, and developed indices showing the efficacy of commercial arbitration in jurisdictions throughout Latin America. The 2023 Guide also provided information on hot topics in international arbitration including gender diversity in the appointment of arbitrators; dispositive motions; transparency in awards; among others.

The Guide’s findings include:

  • Several institutions opened their doors since the last Survey, particularly in the Caribbean, where five different institutions have been created since 2018.
  • There have been an increase in the appointment of female arbitrators both on rosters and on panels since the last survey.
  • Although most disputes involve domestic parties, an increasing percentage involves foreign parties.
  • While most cases involve private entities, an increasing number of cases involve public entities.
  • A significant number of jurisdictions in Latin America show signs of a reliable legal framework for commercial and investment arbitration.
  • Although the majority of arbitrations involve only two parties, as disputes become more complex, more cases involve multiple parties.
  • The vast majority of jurisdictions apply one or fewer requirements for choosing an arbitrator, such as requiring the arbitrator to be: a national of the country where the institution is located, a certified licensed attorney in that jurisdiction, or chosen from a roster.

Ultimately, the Guide shows how commercial arbitration has infused the legal and business environment in Latin America, including the Caribbean.

The Arbitral Institutions Scoreboard summarizes some of the Guide’s findings for several significant regional organizations, and provides links to the rules of each organization. 

A 2016 edition of the Guide and Scoreboard is in progress.

2023 Survey Guide

View the 2023 Guide (pdf)

2023 Arbitral Institutions Scoreboard

View the 2023 Arbitral Institutions Scoreboard (pdf)

2011 Survey Guide

View the 2011 Inaugural Guide (pdf)