The New Arbitration Law in Mexico - WAMR 1993 Vol. 4, No. 12
Originially from: World Arbitration and Mediation Review (WAMR)
The New Arbitration Law in Mexico
By Lawrence W. Newman and Michael Burrows. Mr. Newman and Mr.
Burrows are partners in the New York office of Baker & McKenzie. Rafael
E. Castilla, an associate in the New York office, assisted in the
preparation of this article.
Americans and others doing business in Mexico will benefit from an
arbitration law recently enacted in Mexico. On July 23, there came into
effect amendments and additions to the Mexican Commercial Code that
provide for the resolution of disputes in Mexico through an arbitral regime
substantially similar to modern arbitration statutes in effect elsewhere in
The new law, applicable to both domestic and international arbitrations,
is based on the Model Law of the United Nations Commission for
International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).The new law completed the
modernization of Mexican arbitration law begun in 1989 with the
enactment of statutory provisions, which, although facilitating the use of
arbitration to resolve commercial disputes in Mexico, still left those
proceedings subject to many of the formalities and vagaries of Mexican
civil court procedure.
The new law is applicable to arbitrations taking place in Mexico, except
as provided in international treaties to which Mexico is a party. Mexican
courts are now authorized to refer to arbitration parties to actions
involving matters subject to an arbitration agreement, whether or not the
arbitration is to take place within Mexico.
The new law generally follows the UNCITRAL Model Law, although
the two laws differ somewhat in organization, as well as in a few
substantive areas. The Model Law is a modern, carefully drafted statute
that has been enacted in a number of countries and in several states of the
United States. The new law follows the philosophy of the Model Law of
providing considerable latitude within which the parties may fashion their
own agreement, which can include the procedures under which the
arbitration will be conducted.
Whereas the Model Law applies only to international commercial
arbitration, the new Mexican law is applicable to both domestic and
international commercial arbitrations within the territory of Mexico.
Nevertheless, the new Mexican law often follows the tenets of the
UNCITRAL Model Law, including the notion that local courts should not
intervene in arbitrations unless specifically authorized. Thus, the new