Argentina - Arbitration Law and Practice in Latin America
Originally from Arbitration Law and Practice in Latin America
I. INTRODUCTION: ARBITRATION IN ARGENTINA HISTORY AND INFRASTRUCTURE
A. History and Current Legislation on Arbitration
Argentina lacks a modern statutory framework governing domestic and international commercial arbitration, remaining one of the few Latin American countries where the law of arbitration has remained largely untouched during the last decades. The main statutory source is found in the National Code of Civil and Commercial Procedure adopted in 1967 (Código Procesal Civil y Comercial de la Nación, hereinafter “NPC”).
The Argentine Congress recently passed a new Civil and Commercial Code, due to take effect in 2015 (Código Civil y Comercial de la Nación, hereinafter “2015 Civ.Com.C.”). The drafters of the code decided to incorporate a set of provisions on the arbitration contract (Book III on Personal Rights, Title IV on Specific Contracts, Chapter 29, Arts. 1649-1655). References will be made in the course of this chapter to these provisions of the new code.
Argentina’s approach towards arbitration has been and remains somewhat ambivalent. Argentina’s legal culture incorporates the civil law tradition. Judicial decisions, therefore, lack binding force, and it is not uncommon to observe that different courts, or even judges from panels belonging to the same intermediate court of appeals, hold different views on the role that arbitration should play, vis-à-vis ordinary courts, in the settlement of disputes. The Supreme Court of Argentina has also held different views, depending not only on the time but also on the composition of the court, on the degree of autonomy of the arbitration process. Thus, it is not uncommon to find conflicting and at times contradictory court decisions on the same issue of law.