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Arbitration in Brazil and the 1958 New York Convention — Relevant Issues

José Emilio Nunes Pinto, Mining Law & Investment in Latin America (2003)

While over the last five decades arbitration has developed and solidified as an efficient means to settle commercial disputes in various jurisdictions, in Brazil, however, during such same period, arbitration has experienced a period of stagnation. Development and solidification implied a move from a legal framework crafted in the 19th century to a modern one and consistent with the intent of the parties as well as the replacement of Conventions executed in the 1920's by a well received New York Convention in 1958.

Stagnation in Brazil was due basically to two factors, i.e. the existence of old fashioned codified rules governing arbitration which had not incorporated and, therefore, lacked the most modern mechanisms to force the parties to institute arbitration, as previously agreed upon, and, further, the reluctance of Brazil in adhering to and ratifying the 1958 New York Convention.

Nevertheless, upon having adhered to and ratified the 1958 New York Convention without opposing any reserves, Brazil joined the developed nations and this has certainly been the step forward that was missing to definitely consolidate the framework of arbitration in Brazil, favoring the dissemination of the procedure.

Although arbitration has always been ppppprovided by Brazilian laws, namely the Civil Code and the Civil Procedure Code, the then existing framework did not