Italy - National Report - World Arbitration Reporter
Originally from World Arbitration Reporter (WAR) - 2nd Edition
I. INTRODUCTION: ARBITRATION IN HISTORY AND LEGISLATIVE INFRASTRUCTURE
A. HISTORY AND CURRENT LEGISLATION ON ARBITRATION
1. Historical evolution of law relating to arbitration
Italy has experienced a remarkable legislative development in favour of arbitration over the last twenty years. The Italian legislation on arbitration features most of the indicators that are normally employed to assess whether a jurisdiction should be regarded as “arbitration friendly”. Indeed, as it will be highlighted below, Italian law contains provisions that are at the forefront of the global trend aimed at facilitating the settlement of disputes through arbitration. Like many other pieces of legislation, be it national or international, Italian arbitration law could benefit from additional legislative changes. Particularly, it may benefit from the adoption of rules, such as the UNCITRAL Model Law, that would make Italy’s pro-arbitration stance immediately evident to any foreign analyst. Such “make-up” would necessarily entail the removal of provisions of little practical importance, such as the prohibition for arbitrators to issue interim measures that are often used to question the whole quality of Italy’s arbitration law.
The first piece of legislation aimed at modernising arbitration was enacted in 1983 through Law no. 28 of 9 February 1983 that aspired to enhance the circulation of Italian awards abroad. However, also in light of its uncertainties regarding the challenge phase of the award, it was only in 1994 that Italian Law clearly entered into a more international perception of arbitration. Indeed, by Law no. 25 of 5 January 1994, the Italian Legislator adopted several provisions that would bring Italy in line with the most advanced pieces of domestic law on arbitration. In particular, it was the first time that the Legislator provided for specific provisions on international arbitration.