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Dispute Resolution in Latin American Mining

Harry L. Arkin, International Oil, Gas, and Mining Development in Latin America (1994)

Laws, rules and procedures for the resolution of disputes are rapidly evolving in Latin America, as they are through out the world. Mining companies which leave dispute resolution considerations to the end of their negotiations with owners, if they include them at all, or rely on quick and easy “boilerplate” dispute resolution clauses, need to change their approach or potentially suffer dire consequences. Failure to pay close attention to dispute resolution provisions in the negotiation process, a time when the parties are agreeable, may lead to unexpected and costly results when and if the parties come to a disagreement.

This paper will review the most commonly used methods of international dispute resolution in Latin America with an emphasis on arbitration. At this time, arbitration is one of the most successful means by which those in Latin America and North America involved in the mining industry may resolve disputes which may arise. Arbitration is “successful” in that it can be cost and time effective as well as private and enforceable. Included in this discussion of dispute resolution will be a review of traditional aspects of Latin American arbitration. Also this paper will present a review of some of the arbitral procedures and tribunals currently used in arbitration with Latin American business entities. A review will also be made of the legal and cross cultur