Ecuador - Arbitration Law and Practice in Latin America - Second Edition
Originally from Arbitration Law and Practice in Latin America - Second Edition
I. INTRODUCTION: ARBITRATION IN ECUADOR HISTORY AND INFRASTRUCTURE
A. History and Current Legislation on Arbitration
1. Historical Evolution of Law Relating to Arbitration
The Arbitration and Mediation Law (“AML”) was enacted in 1997 and derogated several instruments such as the Commercial Arbitration Law, passed in 1963, the regulations regarding the arbitral proceedings existing in the Code of Civil Procedure (“CCP”) and the Organic Code for the Judiciary (“OCFJ”).
Later, the AML was amended in order to strengthen arbitration in Ecuador, where the following amendments to the AML are worth pointing out:
• The possibility of challenging the validity of an arbitral award is clearly defined through a procedural annulment action which cannot be considered an appeal within the same proceeding.
• The President of the Provincial Court of Justice shall be decided within thirty days to decide an annulment action.
• In case a party to an arbitral agreement is sued before the judicial system, the judge will have to decide upon the existence and validity of such arbitral agreement as a pre-trial matter by means of the principle of judicial economy (see article 8, AML).
The arbitration regime was also modified when new Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador (“Constitution”) was published in the Official Registry in October of 2008 after its approval through a referendum on September 28 of that year. The text is the result of several months of work by the National Constituent Assembly convened to that effect. One of the areas in the Constitution that includes major reforms with reference to methods for alternative dispute resolution pertains to the Judiciary and to the administration of justice.