I. INTRODUCTION: ARBITRATION IN COLOMBIA—HISTORY AND INFRASTRUCTURE
A. History and Current Legislation on Arbitration
1. Historical evolution of law relating to arbitration
The history of arbitration in Colombian law goes back to 1890. The right to submit disputes to arbitration was firstly permitted by Article 307 of Law 105 of 1890. Since then, several laws, such as Law 103 of 1931, Law 2 of 1938 and both the Civil Procedural and the Commercial Codes have regulated arbitration. Although not being expressly provided for in the Constitution of 1886, the Supreme Court of Justice stated that arbitration was indeed compliant with it. In 1991 arbitration was raised to the constitutional level. Article 116 of the Colombian Constitution is now the foundation stone of legislation on domestic arbitration. Indeed, the said constitutional provision expressly recognizes arbitration as a dispute settlement mechanism.
The foresaid article 116 of the 1991 Colombian Constitution reads as follows:
Private individuals may be temporarily vested with the function of administering justice as members of the jury in criminal cases, as conciliators or as arbitrators empowered by the parties to render decisions according to the law or in equity, in accordance with the terms provided for by the law.