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Latin American Arbitral Institutions Guide and Scoreboard

The era of Latin American arbitral institutions has arrived. Building on a strong legal framework, arbitral institutions have emerged throughout the region. 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 publication of the ITA’s Inaugural 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. The Inaugural Guide identified 165 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 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 Guide’s findings include:

  • A significant number of jurisdictions in Latin America show signs of a reliable legal framework for commercial arbitration.
  • The majority of institutions were established during and after the legal environment changed in the 1990s.
  • Although most disputes involve domestic parties, a significant and increasing percentage involve foreign parties.
  • While most cases involve private entities, an increasing number of cases involve public entities.
  • Although the majority of arbitrations involve only two parties, as disputes become increasingly 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, be a certified licensed attorney in that jurisdiction or be chosen from a roster.

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

The Arbitral Institutions Scoreboard summarizes some of the Guide’s findings for 30 significant regional organizations, and provides links to the rules of each organization.

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

Inaugural Survey Guide

View the Inaugural Guide (pdf)

Arbitral Institutions Scoreboard

View the Arbitral Institutions Scoreboard (pdf)