Mozambique - Arbitration Law and Practice in Africa
Originally from Arbitration Law and Practice in Africa
I. INTRODUCTION: ARBITRATION IN MOZAMBIQUE HISTORY AND INFRASTRUCTURE
A. History and Current Legislation on Arbitration
1. Historical evolution of law relating to arbitration
Mozambique used to be a Portuguese colony. For this reason, the history and legal framework of arbitration in Portugal and Mozambique was the same until 1975, when Mozambique became an independent State.
After independence, up until the entry into force of the Law on Arbitration, Conciliation and Mediation (“LACM”), Law No. 11/99, of 8 July 1999, Mozambican arbitration continued to be governed by Articles 1508 to 1524 of the 1961 Portuguese Code of Civil Procedure. Arbitration was then largely canvassed as a dispute resolution mechanism subject to State control. As a consequence, arbitration practice was almost inexistent.
State’s prominence and influence in business and economic life was, and still is, a significant factor in Africa, one that has certainly influenced the lesser development of arbitration. While Mozambique has been no exception to this trend, it soon became aware that commercial and investment arbitration can contribute to a country’s economic development. As a consequence, arbitration has been increasingly resorted to and relevant legislation has progressively been implemented and developed. Since the LACM was enacted, in 1999, provision has been made for the right to use arbitration in respect of many other legal areas such as consumer protection, labor, public law and investment law.
The Mozambican Constitution (as amended in 2004) expressly provides for the possibility to resort to arbitral tribunals as a means to adjudicate disputes (Article 223(2) of the Mozambican Constitution).